Business Day

Buy-backs lift bourse

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THE JSE closed firmly in the black yesterday, as market participan­ts bought back into shares after recent pullbacks.

At 5pm, the JSE all share index closed 1.37% firmer at 39,070.57 points, with the bluechip top 40 index rising 1.47%.

General retailers, platinums and industrial­s improved 3.64%, 1.94% and 1.62% respective­ly. Only the gold index made losses, giving back 1.81% with risk-on trade back on the table.

“The local bourse was underpinne­d by retailers after Mr Price released a strong trading statement, which usually gives a good indication of the state of the sector.

“This prompted investors to re-enter the market after the recent losses,” Kyle Dutton, a stockbroke­r at Mercato Financial Services, said.

Mr Price (MPC) anticipate­s its full-year earnings to March will rise more than 20%‚ compared with the similar period a year earlier. Mr Price soared 6.06% to R122.50 after issuing the trading statement, and Woolworths (WHL) accelerate­d 3.80% to R69.46.

Pick n Pay Holdings (PIK) lifted 0.85% to R41.50 after the company said it expected its diluted headline earnings per share from continuing operations in the 52-week period ended March 3 to decline by between 25% and 35%‚ from the comparativ­e period ended February 29 last year.

Resource giant Sasol (SOL) added 2.57% to R400.15 after it said it would profit from investment­s in two new Louisiana plants producing plastics and chemicals.

BHP Billiton (BIL) gained 1.36% to R267.18 and Kumba Iron Ore (KIO) added 3.10% to R465. Platinum miner Lonmin (LON) closed 2.68% higher at R37.50 and Aquarius (AQP) surged 7.35% to R6.43.

Village Main Reef (VIL) tumbled 14.85% to 86c after announcing production results for the third quarter ended March, of 44‚806oz of gold and 1‚433 tons of antimony.

Gold production for the quarter was 9% lower than that achieved during the December quarter. AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) gave up 2.04% to R200.73 and Gold Fields (GFI) lost 2.29% to R66.06.

Packaging group Astrapak (APK) gave back 2.78% to R7 after is announced that headline earnings per share for the year were expected to plunge between 52% and 72% from the previous year.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve released the minutes of its Federal Open Market Committee meeting early. They showed it believed the benefits of quantitati­ve easing outweighed any likely costs and risks. Staff Writer

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