The JSE was slightly weaker at midday on Friday after being hammered by a firmer rand this week.

While most major indices were down, banks led the losses as the market was still digesting news of the Competition Commission’s findings on allegations of price fixing.

Gains in gold-mining stocks came about as a result of an upbeat gold price. The spot price of gold was up $1.58 to $1,240.80/oz. Nedbank analysts said bullion remained elevated mainly due to a weaker US dollar while the upside gains were limited as gold was close to being overbought, after having rallied for the past two months. They said should the dollar remain volatile and weak, it was likely that the gold price would remain above the $1,200/oz mark in the near term.

At 12.03pm‚ the all share had shed 0.49% to 52,327.1 points‚ and the blue-chip top 40 had lost 0.6%.

Momentum SP Raid analysts said the all share and top 40 index remained hemmed in by a fairly narrow trading range, which has held over the past 25 trading sessions. They expected a marginally softer tone for the JSE on Friday with relatively brisk support for the rand.

The Dow Jones Industrial average was flat but still above the critical 20,000 points mark. The FTSE was down like most European and Asian markets. The Nikkei 225 shed 0.58% while the Shanghai Composite and the Hang Seng lost 0.85% and 0.31% respectively.

Banks extended their losses, shedding 1.13%‚ after the Treasury said their poor market practices had to be punished and brought to an end.

Financials were 0.86% down while gold miners gained 0.37%.

The big four banks were all lower following the collusion scandal which implicated Standard Bank‚ Investec and Absa. Barclays Africa‚ which trades as Absa, led the banking losses by 1.91% to R159.85 followed by Nedbank, down 1.73% at R244.88. Standard was down 1.08% at R146.72 and Investec 0.76% at R95.44.

Among gold miners, Harmony gained 1.13% to R37.57 while Gold Fields lost 1.11% to R44.50.

Woolworths was down 1.4% to R69.51 after reporting disappointing interim results despite heavy promotional activity.

Truworths was up 5.47% to R88.84.

Murray and Roberts was up 0.13% to R15.02 after its share price rocketed 34% on Thursday.

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