JSE firmer‚ tracks global stocks

2012-07-27 10:45

Johannesburg - The JSE lifted at the opening on Friday‚ in line with leading global stock markets‚ after European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi’s pledge to save the euro encouraged appetite for risk assets.

Anglo American [JSE:AGL]‚ however‚ was the main laggard - losing nearly 3% in the early session - after the resources giant posted a 38% decline in group operating profit‚ to $3.7bn in the six months to June 2012‚ compared with the same period a year earlier‚ while profit attributable to equity shareholders declined 70% to $1.21bn.

An interim dividend of 32 cents was declared compared with 28 cents a year ago – a 14% increase.

Viv Govender‚ market analyst at Vunani Private Clients‚ said: “It is not clear at this stage what measures the ECB will adopt that will materially ease the eurozone concerns but the mere signal was at least positive for the markets.”

Meanwhile‚ the US second-quarter gross domestic product data will come under the spotlight later in the day.

At 9:50‚ the All Share [JSE:J203] index was up 0.47% to 34‚448.98 points.

Among the big movers‚ Anglo American lost R7.03‚ or 2.75%‚ to R248.78 while Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] lifted R12.08‚ to R420.58 and Aquarius Platinum [JSE:AQP] gained 23 cents‚ to R5.36.

Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] was up R2.79‚ to R107.32

Among other stocks in focus‚ Absa Group [JSE:ASA] rose 30 cents to R136 after the banking group reported a 6% decline in diluted headline earnings per share to 602.3 cents in the six months ended June 2012‚ from 638.5 cents a year ago.

The group said fear about the euro debt crisis and its potential impact on the global economy had been the main driver of the volatility in global financial markets over the past six months.