JSE opens firmer in subdued trade

The JSE was slightly higher in dull opening trade on Monday morning.

Trading is expected to be subdued with US and UK markets closed for holidays — Memorial Day in the US and the UK Spring bank holiday.

Volumes were low, with industrials and gold stocks early leaders among the gainers, while property and platinum shares were flat.

Gold stocks gained on a brief rise in the gold price above $1,300 an ounce, despite the dollar strengthening to below $1.17 to the euro.

Soon after the JSE’s opening, the gold price softened 0.3% to $1.297.48 an ounce.

On Friday, S&P Global Ratings kept its rating on SA unchanged, citing tentative economic growth and the government’s rising debt burden as factors mitigating against an improved rating. The outlook remains stable.

In response, National Treasury said it would talk to S&P about their areas of concern.

Taking steps to improve business confidence further, achieving higher economic growth, fast-tracking the state enterprise reform agenda, and ultimately restoring the country’s investment-grade credit rating, remained top priorities, it said.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 0.24% lower on Friday. Asian markets were up on Monday, with the Nikkei 255 gaining 0.13% and the Hang Seng 0.73%.

At 9.56am the JSE’s all share index was 0.46% higher at 57,177.4 points and the top 40 had added 0.56%.

The gold index was up 0.94%, industrials 0.74%, food and drug retailers 0.42% and general retailers 0.29%.

Property had slipped 0.06% and resources 0.04%.

Sasol was down 1.31% to R457.94.

Industrial conglomerate Imperial Holdings added 2.3% to R211.70.

Mr Price was up 0.93% to R262.92, but Woolworths lost 0.26% to R60.74.

Growthpoint rose 0.94% to R27.91 and Redefine 0.63% to R11.22. Resilient lost 2.86% to R54.01.

Telkom rose 1.79% to R54.59. Telkom grew overall revenue by 0.1% to R41bn in the year to end-March, but operating profit dropped 6.5%.

Source: businesslive.co.za