Gold miners lead losses on JSE

Johannesburg-S.A. (Apr 15 )  The JSE opened lower on Tuesday, with gold miners taking the hardest hit, retreating on a weaker bullion price.

At 10.07am, the all share index had lost 0.31% to 48,063.58, with the blue-chip top 40 index down 0.33%.

The gold mining index relinquished 2.6%, tracking bullion, which had dropped more than 1% in early trade as the firmer dollar weighed on precious metals prices.

At 10.08am spot gold had slipped 1.15% to $1,311.36 an ounce, with spot platinum down 0.81% and Brent crude inching 0.23% lower.

The greenback strengthened against the major currencies after better than expected US retail sales data on Thursday prompted a rebound in US stocks from a two-day sell-off, with the Nasdaq ending 0.57% higher following its more than 3% drop last week.

Official data showed retail sales rose 1.1% last month, the biggest monthly gain since September 2012 and exceeding the 0.8% expected by economists.

On the local market, the platinum index, which rose 0.38%, was the only sector trading in positive territory despite the weaker metal price.

In corporate earnings news, shares of breweries giant SABMiller dropped 2.21% to R537.75 after it reported a 3% increase in group net producer revenue for the full year.

Information Technology group Business Connexion surged 5.45% to R5.80, despite reporting slower growth in normalised diluted headline earnings per share of 20.7c for the six months ended February 2014 from 21.3c previously.

Gold miners saw AngloGold Ashanti decline 2.84% to R186.06 and Harmony relinquish 2.98% to R33.86

The Foschini group lost 2.05% to R103.34 and Times Media gave back 2.32% to R21.01

Across international markets, Asian shares mostly followed gains on Wall Street overnight, with the Nikkei closing 0.62% higher on Tuesday.