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JSE firmer ahead of budget speech

Feb 26 2014 13:41
David van Rooyen
THE JSE was firmer on Wednesday morning ahead of the 2014 budget speech at 14:00.

All the indices were higher amid a stronger rand environment‚ except for gold miners. Even resources recovered from two days of profit-taking.

At midday the All-share index was up 63 points or 0.13% at 47‚020 points‚ with the blue chip Top 40 index adding 99,57 points or 0.23% to 42 542. The resources index traded 0.21% higher, but the  gold index was 1.95% lower.

The gold price was stronger, but SP Imara said gold shares, which lost 1.8% of their value on Tuesday, are still overbought.

The rand continued its strong run of the last few days and traded at R10.70 to the dollar. The currency was building on four days of gains caused by stronger-than-expected growth at the end of last year and expectations of a solid 2014 budget from the finance minister.

RMB said in a research note they did not expect any fireworks in Wednesday afternoon’s budget. A slight revenue overrun‚ compared to previous years‚ could result in a minor downward revision of this year’s estimated fiscal deficit.

"Looking ahead‚ we believe the minister will be careful to lower his deficit targets‚ given the downside risk that economic activity faces at the moment‚” the bank said.

Any indication that the deficit is getting out of control can end the rand’s strong run.

Among individual shares on the JSE‚ industrial counter Imperial Holdings lost 4.1% to R161 despite reporting diluted headline earnings per share of 813c for the six months ended December 2013 on Wednesday morning, from 795c a year earlier.

Gold Fields led the decliners in the gold space‚ falling 2.77% to R40,70‚ followed by Harmony‚ which was down 2.85% to R35.09.

Among financial services counters, Sanlam added 1.47% to R51.90.

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jse  |  markets  |  equities
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