JSE firmer, bucks international trends

2012-07-06 14:15

Johannesburg - The JSE moved slightly firmer in noon trade on Friday‚ going against the downward trend of major global markets.

The rand weakened slightly from yesterday helping local stocks such as SAB Miller higher.

“We are seeing a bit of weakness in the gold and platinum stocks due to lower commodity prices and lower exports from SA due to weaker trade data from China‚” a local trader said.

“If US non-farm employment figures‚ out later today‚ are in line with fairly positive expectations‚ it is unlikely to have a dramatic affect on our local markets‚ as the potential good news may have already been factored in‚” the trader said.

At 11:51 local time‚ the JSE All Share [JSE:J203] index was up 0.36% at 34 347.43 points‚ while resources lost 0.08%‚ gold shares gave up 0.33% and platinum counters shed 0.47%.

Financials lifted 0.56%‚ banking stocks gained 0.62% and industrials firmed 0.61%.

The rand was trading at 8.20 to the US dollar‚ from 8.13 at the JSE’s close on Thursday‚ while gold changed hands at $1 594.10 a troy ounce from $1 607.60/oz at the JSE’s previous close and platinum was quoted at $1 462.50/oz‚ from $1 472.50/oz previously.

Meanwhile‚ the FTSE 100 was down a slight 0.14% to 5‚684.41% at 11:35 local time‚ outperforming its peers in Europe‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported. The focus‚ though‚ will be firmly on the US non-farm payrolls report‚ expected at 12:30 GMT. Thursday's ADP data and initial jobless claims were both better than expected‚ so expectations for a decent non-farm payrolls result have increased. Expectations are for an increase in June payrolls of 95‚000 and for the unemployment rate to remain at 8.2%.

The monetary easing measures announced on Thursday have largely been factored into the markets.

On Thursday‚ the Bank of England increased its asset purchase programme by GBP50bn ($78bn) to GBP375bn. Almost immediately afterwards‚ the People’s Bank of China cut its benchmark one-year lending rate by 31 basis points to 6.0% and one-year deposit rate by 25 basis points to 3.0%. The European Central Bank lowered its lending rate by 25 basis points to 0.75% as expected‚ but also cut its deposit rate by 25 basis points to zero‚ which was more of a surprise.

In Asia the Nikkei 225 closed down 0.65% at 9‚020.75 points and the Hang Seng Index finished fairly flat at 19‚800.64 points.