JSE tracks generally weaker global markets
The JSE was lower at lunchtime on Friday, with geopolitical concerns keeping risk appetite at bay.
North Korea has fired another missile over Japan, in a show of defiance to the international community, which recently slapped Pyongyang with sanctions after it conducted a nuclear bomb test earlier in the month.
The all share was off 0.24% to 55,714.70 points, in line with global markets, but investors’ reaction appeared muted this time, suggesting that the move by the isolated nation was discounted to a degree.
The underlying components on the JSE displayed a patchy performance, with a weaker rand not providing impetus to the local market, as is usually the case.
Major European markets were mostly lower at midday, with a stronger pound weighing on the UK’s FTSE 100, in particular, with the index last seen down 1.05%. This may have been worsened by an explosion in a London underground station this morning, which injured as many as 22 people. UK officials are treating it as a terror attack, although few details are available at this stage.
Sterling was much stronger against a host of other major currencies, after the Bank of England gave strong indications on Thursday that it could raise interest rates in the coming months.
"Given the importance the [UK monetary policy committee] placed on high-frequency data, sterling is likely be particularly sensitive to the data flow in the coming weeks," Brown Brothers Harriman analysts said in a note.
A number of big South African companies, including Old Mutual and Investec, are listed, and/or have operations, in the UK.
On the JSE, Exxaro Resources was up 1.98% to R121.36.
Harmony Gold gained 3.02% to R27.30 while Impala Platinum shed 4.08% to 35.08, following its year-end results on Thursday in which it reported a bigger loss than expected.
Brait, which is 35% owned by billionaire retail tycoon Christo Wiese, rose 1.79% to R57.
Liberty Holdings was off 1.7% to R105.55 and Anchor Capital 1.96% to R4.50.