JSE flat in muted trading

2012-07-18 10:36

Johannesburg - The JSE was flat at the opening session on Wednesday‚ struggling for direction in the absence of fresh macroeconomic data.

At 09:21 local time‚ the JSE All Share [JSE:J203] index was flat (0.01%) at 33‚710.67 points‚ with resources losing 0.31%‚ platinum shares shedding 0.36% and gold counters slipping 0.09%.

Financials edged up 0.14%‚ with banking stocks and industrials both also 0.14% in the black.

The rand was trading at R8.17 to the US dollar‚ from R8.22 at the JSE’s close on Tuesday‚ while gold changed hands at $1 582.30 a troy ounce from $1 576.15/oz at the JSE’s previous close and platinum was quoted at $1 417.50/oz‚ from $1 411.70/oz previously.

“The US corporate earnings data so far has been pretty mixed‚” said Drikus Combrinck‚ portfolio manager at PSG Konsult. “The market response to BHP Billiton’s production numbers was fairly muted because of demand worries from China.”

Leading European share markets opened slightly higher‚ with London’s FTSE 100 up 0.32%.

In his testimony to the US Congress‚ Federal Reserve chairperson Ben Bernanke gave a rather grim assessment of the US economy‚ though he stopped short of announcing any intention for a third round of quantitative easing - known as QE3‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

In Asia‚ stock markets were mostly lower‚ with Japan’s Nikkei average ending the session up 0.32%‚ while the Hang Seng index was up 1.18% by 09:21 SA time.