Naspers pulls down the JSE, while gold miners cheer dovish Fed

The JSE edged  lower on Thursday morning, largely as a result of losses from market heavyweight Naspers, although banks and retailers found support from dovish US Federal Reserve minutes.

The Fed minutes released overnight showed caution among policymakers due to uncertainty over global growth, with interest-rate sensitive stocks and gold miners seemingly welcoming this stance from the world’s most-influential central bank.

Gold is seen as a hedge against loose monetary policy, while fewer Fed interest rate increases reduce the likelihood the Reserve Bank will raise rates locally.

At 10.06am the all share was 0.22% lower at 53,105.1 points and the top 40 was down 0.38%. Industrials gave up 0.39%. Gold miners added 2.37% and general retailers 1.02%.

At the same time, gold was up 0.21% at $1,295.85/oz and platinum up 0.17% to $826.07/oz. Brent crude was 0.93% weaker at $60.77 a barrel.

Diversified miner Glencore gave up 1.69% to R51.82 and Anglo American 1.14% to R317.70. Trading ex-dividend, BHP extended Wednesday’s 4.13% loss, giving up a further 0.92% to R286.34.