False starts in equities, falling gold leave index unchanged
A WEEK of false starts in equities, falling gold and firmer bonds resulted in an unchanged overall index of 7 022.
The gold index gave up 60 points to 1 247 as the metal price fell to as low as $340/oz before picking up $2 by Friday's close on a firmer platinum price. Talk is that Russia is asking creditors to accept platinum group metals as collateral instead of gold, which it wants to sell.
Gold shares were hit across the board, although those with gold hedges were spared the worst knocks. The first quarterly results from unhedged Gold Fields of SA show a 9% decline in the gold price received.
Wall Street opened firmer three days in a row: the JSE echoed it but lost ground daily. There was a 46-point rally on Friday, financials making progress.
There was large volume in First National Bank, which added 175c to R30.75. Nedcor added the same margin to R86.50, and Stanbic picked up 875c to R195. Boland added 6% to R53, but newly split RMB Holdings eased 25c to R10.45 and Investec shed 300c to R133.
HCI was volatile following the announcement that it is to raise R186-million to follow its rights in Saflife. Shares will be issued 19/100 at 425c. HCI - 850c earlier this year - moved from 512c to 465c then settled at 504c.
Rentsure added 350c to R80 on announcing a 10 for 1 split.
It was another tough week for information technology stocks. Two months ago, this column speculated that Piet den Boer was to leave Q Data. His response : "My life would be empty without Q Data".
Seardel warned shareholders the board had been advised by chairman Aaron Searll that he and a consortium were considering making a bid for all Seardel's businesses including subsidiaries and associates. Seardel could be delisted or become a cash shell. Its price jumped from 158c to 250c, then retreated to 190c.
Richemont and Rembrandt picked up on improved sector sentiment following reports of financial agreements between American tobacco giants and compensation-seekers.
Steers paid R25-million for Debonair and shed 2c to 228c in spite of another warning.
One buyer went bananas on Walhold, which added 90c to 610c - still well below the price paid by Christo Wiese last year.
Julie Walker Top of page