Equities defenceless against assault from the futures players
THE JSE had a directionless week as equities were driven down by futures market-related activity.
A dealer said the market had not been driven by fundamentals, with lack of direction meaning that there was no defence when the futures players launched their attack.
What little excitement there was came on Thursday when the bullion price surged 4% to $325 in a late rally amid a weaker dollar. At the close on Friday the all-gold index had jumped 33.4 points, or 3.7%, to 942.7 points - in a week in which it outshone the industrial index for the first time in more than a month.
Gold stocks that gained on Friday included Harmony, up R2.25 to close at R18; Driefontein gained 95c to R31.35; Vaal Reefs put on R10 to close the day at R216 while Western Deep Levels put on R6 to R107. Elandsrand added 80c to R14.80 and Harmony leapt R2.25 to R18 to round out a successful session for the resources stocks. De Beers Consolidated continued to benefit from strong overseas demand, gaining 50c to R140.25.
The industrial index failed to follow the gains in other markets dropping 18.3 points to 8 658, which left the all share index 6.6 points higher at 7 101.3. The buoyant international markets saw the London FTSE gain its largest single-day point rise of 162.1 points to 5 227,6 and the US Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 63.84 points to 7 911.85 in its first 30 minutes of trade.
Despite the pressure in the industrial sector, oil producer Sasol edged up 25c to R64.75. Furniture company JD Group was the highest value traded share on Friday with a total of R63.4-million of stock following the sale of 1.4-million shares by Coronation to Fleming Martin.
Nando's, the fast food chicken chain, shed two points to close at R1.56 in line with the weaker market. The group announced a 44% increase in attributable income to R4.9-million. Nando's also announced it planned to open seven new outlets, increasing the number of stores to 115 by Christmas. The new plans will see the number of stores increase to 120.
A number of new listings hit the market this week. Of these the star performer was IT company Computer Configuration which gained R1 on its R2 listing price, closing on a R3 high in a weak market. Mining company OTR closed at 65c while Chester Investments closed at 158c.
Among the financials Stanbic shed 25 points to R203.75 while Nedcor lost 75 points on Friday to R101.25. Nedcor this week announced various deals including the acquisition of a 25.1% interest in Dimension Data's Australasian interest.
Opus Investments gained 30c to R6.60 on a reverse takeover by Thebe's Moribo Investments. Moribo will reverse its sports merchandise assets, Kappa and Wilson, into Opus for R19.35 for the issue of 4.3-million shares.
Kilimanjaro Investments lost 20c to close at R2.30 despite reporting an operating income increase to R12-million from R10-million in tough conditions.