JSE closes a mixed bag

IAFRICA.COM, Article By: Evan Pickworth, Fri, 13 Nov 2009 12:11 AM

It was something of a mixed bag on the JSE on Friday as selected stocks did well, but others did not shoot the lights out.

“You had to pick your stocks today,” said senior dealer from Afrifocus, Neville Lahner.

At 5pm the JSE all share index had eked out 0.03 percent, with industrials up 0.43 percent. However, platinum counters receded by 2.03 percent and golds by 1.36 percent. The resources index was 0.26 percent lower. Banks gave up 0.88 percent and financials 0.13 percent. The rand was bid at 7.47 to the dollar, from 7.44 when the JSE closed on Thursday. Gold was quoted at $1105.97 a troy ounce from $1114 at the JSE’s last close, and platinum was at $1361.50/oz, from $1347.60/oz at its previous close.

“The heavyweights drove us, while overseas was quite flat. Selected stocks did well, like Richemont, while others like Telkom were weak,” said Lahner.

He noted the market felt news of one of the Ruperts running Richemont was positive, even though overall results were average.

Compagnie Financiere Richemont (CFR), the Swiss based luxury good group, on Friday reported a 15 percent decline in sales to ?2.379-billion for the six months ended September 2009. First half operating profit was 39 percent lower at 390-million. Earnings per share from continuing operations were 35 percent lower at ?0.623 cents. The company announced that Johann Rupert is to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer from 1 April 2010. The share closed at 23.43 from 22.30 rand on Thursday.

Dow Jones Newswire reported that US stock futures moved up slightly on Friday morning but stayed within a narrow range after the trade deficit widened more than expected in September, as rising imports continued to offset export gains. Shortly after the reports, Dow Jones Industrial futures traded up 20 points to 10 209, while Standard & Poor’s 500 futures gained 3.4 points to 1090.7. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2.2 points to 1776. US stock futures had pointed higher into the report with the Dow trading about 12 points higher shortly prior to the trade and import data release.

The US trade deficit reached $36.5-billion in September, and the trade gap with China reached its highest level in nearly a year. Shortly after the JSE closed, the Dow was up 11.26 points or 0.11 percent. On the JSE, Anglo American plc put on 4.24 rand, or 1.37 percent, to 313.35 rand while BHP Billiton eased 91 cents to 222.58 rand. Petrochemicals group Sasol gave up 1.55 rand to 290.00 rand. AngloGold Ashanti lost 95 cents to 327 rand, Gold Fields weakened 2.90 rand, or 2.67 percent, to 105.60 rand and Harmony declined 1.69 rand, or 2.14 percent, to 77.28 rand. Platinum miner Anglo Platinum shed 9.00 rand, or 1.32 percent, to 672.00 rand, Impala Platinum lost 4.50 rand, or 2.62 percent, to 167.00 rand and Lonmin was off 2.62 rand, or 1.30 percent, to 198.70 rand.

Impala Platinum earlier reported on Friday that higher production from the Zimbabwean operations, increased deliveries to Impala Refining Services (IRS) and changes in the pipeline, as stocks were cleared during the strike action, resulted in a 6 percent increase in gross refined platinum production period on period to 413 000 ounces for the first quarter. Palladium and rhodium rose by 22 percent and 20 percent respectively. The group said however that at the Impala Lease Area tonnes milled declined by 26 percent to just under 3 million due to the closure of all mechanised sections following the 14 Shaft incident and the two-week strike during September.

In diversified miners, Exxaro gave up 80 cents to 91.00 rand. Canadian group Uranium One (UUU) on Friday announced a 72 percent increase in year to date production, with total attributable production at 834 800 pounds during Q3 2009, 19 percent higher for the quarter ending September 30. It closed down 24 cents, or 1.06 percent, at 22.44 rand. Highveld Steel, meanwhile, collected 150 cents, or 2.29 percent, to 67.00 rand.

Among industrials on the JSE, brewer SABMiller edged up 80 cents to 206.45 rand, but Remgro was down 2.25 rand, or 2.46 percent, to 89.25 rand and Tiger Brands shed 1.55 rand to 158.85 rand.

Banker Standard Bank was down 70 cents to 96.40 rand, but Nedbank edged up 40 cents to 121.35 rand. African Bank was down 52 cents, or 1.74 percent, to 29.39 rand. It earlier advised that headline earnings per share for the year ended September are expected to be 10 percent-12 percent lower than the 252.1 cents per share reported in the previous financial year. This is as a result of the increase in the weighted number of shares in issue, the group said in a voluntary trading statement. Headline earnings however are expected to be at a similar level to the R1.810-billion reported in 2008.

Retailer Pick n Pay weakened 28 cents to 39.55 rand, while Shoprite lost 1.62 rand, or 2.53 percent, to 62.39 rand. Clicks collected 30 cents, or 1.18 percent, to 25.70 rand and JD Group gained 1.15 rand, or 2.89 percent, to 41.00 rand.

Liberty International added 2.16 rand, or 3.64 percent, to 61.57 rand. Construction group Murray & Roberts lost 1.05 rand, or 1.87 percent, to 55.20 rand. Cement manufacturer Pretoria Portland Cement weakened 10 cents to 32.90 rand. Among telecommunications groups, MTN Group firmed 1.80 rand, or 1.53 percent, to 119.80 rand, but Telkom was down 1.50 rand, or 3.55 percent, to 40.75 rand and Vodacom was unchanged at 56.00 rand.

Telkom SA earlier said that it expects headline earnings per share (HEPS) to be 130 percent-140 percent lower for the six months ended September 30, while normalised HEPS are expected to be 45 percent-55 percent lower. Telkom said its HEPS includes the secondary taxation on companies (STC) on the special dividend, the compensation expense and the fair value loss on Vodacom shares.


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