The JSE was flat on Thursday afternoon, as markets digested the implications of Wednesday’s budget policy statement.

Analysts have welcomed the government’s plans to not fully bail out embattled state utility Eskom, whose debt mountain poses a risk to SA’s fiscal health, and threatens the country’s sovereign credit rating.

At 12.10pm, the rand was 0.96% firmer at R13.8806/$, 1.02% stronger at R15.7254/€ and 0.82% up at R18.1408/£. The euro was flat at $1.1329.

The all share was flat at 55,693.7 points, while the top 40 had added 0.05%. Banks were up 2.02% and financials 1.34%. Gold miners were dowm 2.19%.

Diversified miner Glencore fell 1.39% to R55.42 and BHP 1.6% to R326.30.

Rand hedge AB InBev fell 2.39% to R1,064.46 and British American Tobacco 1.9% to R511.62.

Sibanye-Stillwater was down 4.08% to R15.03, having earlier reported that it swung into a headline loss of R117.6m in the six months to end-December.

Lonmin slumped 8.96% to R12.30, having earlier said that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which is on strike at Sibanye, had been given permission for a secondary strike at its operations.

Woolworths added 1.78% to R45.13, having reported earlier that headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended December 23 had dropped 2.9% to 200.4c per share.

Gold was down 0.32% at $1,333.93/oz while platinum fell 1.03% to $819.13.

Brent crude was 0.42% lower at $66.84 a barrel.