JSE touches fresh all-time high
THE JSE and the top-40 index touched new all-time highs on Tuesday afternoon, but closed just below those levels, after renewed investor optimism in South African commodity stocks lifted the local bourse.
Resources lent the biggest support on Tuesday, followed by gold miners and platinum counters, whilst investors were keenly awaiting Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee minutes and any further clues on when the US Federal Reserve may ease monetary policy, as well as expectations of stimulus in China.
At 5pm, the JSE all share index was up 1.02% to 35‚832.84 points and the top-40 index gained 1.06%. The all-share earlier touched 35,889.57 points, 24 points higher than the previous all-time high.
"We saw a nice pick-up today (Tuesday) with a lot of optimism on the markets with resources the leader of the day," said Devin Shutte, market analyst at stockbrokerage Newstrading.
"We saw good buying into the euro against the dollar which propped up our commodities. We see renewed investor support in our commodities, which has lifted the poorly performing sector," he said.
Meanwhile, financial company shares led US stocks higher on Tuesday, putting the market on track to reach fresh multi-year highs.
World markets were generally higher with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 49.71 points, or 0.37%, to 13,321.35 points at 4.55pm local time.
In London, the FTSE was last seen up 0.67% at 5,863.31 points, shaking off some eurozone uncertainty that had weighed on the market previously.
The gold price and platinum price showed good gains, up 1.2% and 1.29% respectively, to trade at R1,639 per ounce and R1,506 per ounce.
Local stocks that showed good gains were Anglo American, up R5.79 or 2.30% at R257.38, and BHP Billiton, up R3.12 or 1.23% at R257.20.
In platinum counters, Amplats added R9.98, or 2.38%, at R430, Impala Platinum was up R3.15, or 2.37%, at R136 and Aquarius added 42c, or 8.75%, to R5.22.
Lonmin closed R2.85, or 3.56%, higher at R82.83. The platinum miner reported a 33% staff attendance at its Marikana mine on Tuesday morning‚ as the majority of workers ignored requests from the company and unions to return to work.
Lonmin employs 28‚000 people at 11 shafts in the area and is losing 15‚000 ounces (oz) of platinum each week that its mines are idle.
Amongst gold miners, Anglogold Ashanti added R6.20, or 2.2%, at R287.95 and Harmony gained R3.75, or 4.97%, to R79.17.
Village Main Reef closed 8c, or 6.06%, stronger at R1.40 on Tuesday. The gold miner reported a 0.73% decline in its total gold production for the quarter ended June 2012 to 46‚424oz from the previous quarter‚ excluding production from its Blyvoor operations.
Shoprite Holdings closed R3.52, or 2.25%, higher at R159.95. The company on Tuesday reported a 19.6% rise in headline earnings per share to 607.04c for the year ended June 2012 from 507.6c a year ago.
Absa closed R1.25 softer at R141.01.
Absa and Barclays are in negotiations about combining the majority of the Barclays Africa operations with Absa.
The companies issued a cautionary announcement on Tuesday‚ advising that in line with their strategy to operate as one bank in Africa‚ they are engaged in discussions.