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Strong finish last week

28 August 2006 Angelo Coppola

The market closed Friday on a strong note, supported by Sasol and platinum mines.

According to Efficient Group economist Fanie Joubert, the all share closed 0.5% higher, bringing last weeks total gains to 2.3%. Resources closed the day up 0.5%, driven by platinum mines (1.13%).

Impala platinum released its annual results during the morning and announced a possible eight for one share split. AngloPlat had a great day and gained 2.3%. Construction (2%) and the IT sector (1%) also closed well in the green. Gold miners were the only sector, which really struggled and lost just over 1%.

Large petrochemicals firm Sasol, was amongst the top gainers and its shares jumped 3.5%. Telecommunications group MTN also had a good day climbing over 2%. Compared to Friday, the rand has weakened around 0.5% versus the dollar. Gold was trading at $623 per ounce this morning, while platinums price is somewhat lower compared to Friday, at $1 216 per ounce.

The US markets closed flat on Friday as markets were still speculating over the report of the housing market that pointed to some slowing in the economy. The Dow Jones lost 0.2%, and the Nasdaq closed 0.15% in the green. For the week, the Dow has lost 0.8%, while the Nasdaq gave back around 1%.

Other worrying factors for the week to come may be the release of the US second quarter GDP figures scheduled for Wednesday and the employment figures on Friday. Similar to the US, European markets also seemed to receive no clear direction and closed the day flatly.

The Nikkei is down over 1% this morning, as shares in Softbank Corporation (-4%) extended losses after a brokerage cut its target share price. The Australian market is trading flat this morning after the market lost 0.5% during last week.

Trading on the JSE should be slightly cautious during the start of this week, as from Wednesday, a flood of economic data (including money supply, inflation and trade data) is scheduled for release.

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