HANNA BARRY: Good evening and welcome to the SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb. My name is Hanna Barry. I’ll be with you till next week Friday, standing in for Siki Mgabadeli.
It is corporate earnings season at the moment, and this evening we chat to Sibanye Gold CEO Neal Froneman about job cuts in the mining sector, and Sibanye’s plans to develop solar power to mitigate the impact of load-shedding on the business.
Julian Roberts, the outgoing CEO of insurance giant Old Mutual, joins us for the last time to discuss the outlook for that business, which performed exceptionally well in the first half of this year. Julius is of course stepping down in November and being succeeded by Liberty/Standard Bank’s Bruce Hemphill.
And then we are introducing a new series this evening called “Back to the Future”, where we look at the history, development and investment potential of listed companies. This evening’s case study is BHP Billiton, so do stay with us for that.
Our market watcher this evening is Chris Gilmour, investment analyst at Absa Wealth & Investment Management. First up, here’s Tumisang Ndlovu with your business news.
TUMISANG NDLOVU: Thanks, Hanna. Good evening.
South Africa’s mining sector remains under the spotlight amid pending job losses and falling commodity prices, but Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi is confident that jobs can be saved. Ramatlhodi met with mining bosses for a second day and the president of the Chamber of Mines, Mike Teke, says they welcome government’s intervention.
MIKE TEKE: The markets are tough, trading conditions are difficult, prices are not where they used to be, and we feel that coming together with the minister will contribute. We’ll listen and come up with ideas on how to approach these tough market conditions.
TUMISANG NDLOVU: The rand is still battling to gain traction. The local currency hit a fresh 14-year low against the dollar this week amid expectations of a US rate hike next month. The local market also remains in wait-and-see mode ahead of tomorrow’s employment data.
And still on expectations of a US rate hike, analysts say the odds of this happening next month surged over the past two days. This has been spiked by comments from US Federal Reserve official Dennis Lockhart, saying the American economy is ready. The surprisingly strong report on US service-sector growth is also a contributing factor.
Financial indicators this hour: the rand is at R12.74/dollar, R19.73/pound and R13.91/euro. Gold is at $1 089.99/oz, platinum at $952.32/oz and Brent crude oil is trading at $49.03/barrel.