JSE creeps higher in choppy trade

The JSE crept higher yesterday as the volatile gold miners and platinums pushed higher, catching up with overnight moves in underlying commodity prices.

Gold and platinum prices rose late on Wednesday on a weaker dollar after the US Federal Reserve released minutes of its July meeting, which showed that officials were increasingly concerned about the US’s low inflation profile. The assessment suggested the Fed could potentially delay raising interest rates, a scenario that favours gold, in particular, as an asset class.

The Fed’s minutes conceded with the continuing squabbles in the Trump administration, which further undermined the dollar, but played out favourably for commodities in general.

“The political turmoil surrounding the Trump administration, coupled with concerns for a potential global trade spat — particularly with China — continues to inhibit market tonality to the upside,” Momentum SP Reid Securities said.

The all share was up 0,14 percent to 5,5611.10 points at lunch time, as gold miners and platinums rose 3,51 percent and 1,89 percent, respectively. The influential industrial 25 was relatively flat, suggesting investors were reluctant to build new positions in the absence of fresh catalysts.

However, retail stocks still had momentum behind them, following better-than-expected retail sales data on Tuesday. Massmart outperformed the sector, whose fortunes are closely linked to consumer spending patterns.

Among stocks in focus, PPC rose as much as 14 percent in a relief rally that followed the relatively upbeat operational update, while Standard Bank was little changed following its interim results. AngloGold Ashanti was up 2,94 percent to R132,95 and Gold Fields 6,46 percent to R55,39 despite reporting a drop in its interim earnings.

AngloGold American Platinum was up 2,33 percent to R328,50 and Impala Platinum 2,3 percent to R38,28 and Assore 2,27 percent to R229,50. — BusinessDay.

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