JSE stays weaker as miners weigh

2012-05-21 13:18

Johannesburg - The JSE remained lower at noon on Monday, bucking the international trend, with leading European stock markets turning positive and Dow futures signalling a firmer start for US markets.

PSG Konsult stockbroker Hennie Fourie said the rand recovery from the session's worst level weighed on the mining shares, which in turn, affected the local bourse.

At 12:01 local time, the JSE All Share [JSE:J203] index was down 0.24% to 33 068.40 points, with the platinum sector losing 1.20%, resources easing off 0.34% and gold counters shedding 0.86%.

Financials were down 0.50%, banking stocks were off 0.72%, while industrials were relatively static (-0.04%).

The rand was trading at 8.29 to the US dollar, from 8.30 at the JSE's close on Friday, while gold was quoted at $1 592 a troy ounce from $1 595.39/oz at the JSE's previous close and platinum was at $1 466.50/oz, from $1 463.20/oz at the previous session.

"The rand has strengthened a bit this morning, recovering to around the 8.26 level to the US dollar from 8.35. That is impacting on the mining shares and therefore the all-share index, while the European stock markets rebounded and Dow futures point to a firmer open. BHP Billiton in Australia ended 2% firmer whereas it is only marginally up at this stage locally," said Fourie.

European stock markets moved higher on improved sentiment, helped by the Group of Eight (G8) leaders affirming they wanted Greece to remain in the eurozone, calming some of the recent worries about the country's membership of the 17-nation union, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

At the weekend's summit of G8 nations, leaders failed to reach an agreement on how to calm the escalating economic crisis in Europe, but the meeting's final statement did affirm that they wanted Greece to remain in the eurozone. Also in the joint statement, leaders said that they would take steps to boost their economies.

The UK's FTSE 100 index was up 0.35% to 5 285.09 points at about noon local time.

Asian markets ended mostly higher after G8 leaders affirmed they wanted Greece to remain in the eurozone and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao raised hopes of further policy easing.

Japan's Nikkei finished 0.30% higher at 8 633.89, China Shanghai SE Composite was up 0.2% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished the day down 0.2%.