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JSE flat‚ eurozone in focus

Mar 28 2013 11:07
I-Net Bridge
Johannesburg - Platinum and gold miners supported the local market in early Thursday trade amid the global risk-off environment as participants turned to safe-haven investments.

The ongoing bail-out issues in Cyprus and the political uncertainty in Italy continued to weigh on global sentiment.

At 10.01am the JSE All Share [JSE:J203] index was flat (-0.07) at 39 853.06 points‚ with the blue-chip Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] index also flat (-0.06%).

The platinum and gold indices were up 0.29% and 0.20% respectively‚ while banks gave back 0.64%.

On the international front Cyprus’s government raced on Wednesday to prepare for its banks' scheduled reopening on Thursday after a two-week hiatus announcing temporary capital controls to prevent deposits from fleeing the weakened institutions‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Because of fears nervous savers could descend on the island's banks the government rolled out aggressive curbs expected to last at least a week and possibly much longer on cash flows out of the country. Its central bank was also stocking billions of euros of banknotes late on Wednesday to cope with demand the following day‚ officials said.

Meanwhile Asian stocks were lower on Thursday as continued concerns over Europe weighed on sentiment with the Australian market down on its final trading day for the quarter.

For several markets across the region, including Australia and Hong Kong, Thursday marks the end of the quarter ahead of the Good Friday holiday.

The Japanese Nikkei closed down 1.26%‚ while the Hong Kong Hang Seng index was 0.98% softer at 9.46am local time.

Movers on the JSE were Exxaro (EXX) down 1.34% to R161.79‚ while ArcelorMittal (ACL) was up 2.88% at R29.28.

In the gold sector Gold Fields (GFI) ticked up 1.03% to R71.46 and Harmony (HAR) rose 1.06% to R59.30.

Pallinghurst resources (PGL) garnered 1.46% to R2.08 and Royal Bafokeng (RBP) improved 2.78% to R55.50.

Coal of Africa (CZA) jumped 3.98% to R2.09.

Among banking counters Nedbank (NED) dipped 1.65% to R190.01 and Absa (ASA) gave up 2.56% to R154.25. 

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markets; jse

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