The JSE ended marginally higher on Wednesday‚ pushing the all-share index to a new closing high‚ albeit in a choppy session.
The local bourse‚ along with its global peers‚ traded in a narrow range throughout the day as it awaited some action from the US Federal Reserve to boost faltering global economic growth.
At 17:00 local time‚ the JSE all-share index was up 0.21 percent to 34‚788.37 points‚ but gold shares slid 1.57 percent‚ while resources edged up 0.18 percent and platinum counters gained 0.88 percent.
Financials were up 0.68 percent‚ banking stocks gained 0.69 percent‚ while industrials ended flat (0.07 percent).
The rand was trading at 8.18 to the US dollar‚ from 8.21 at the JSE's close on Tuesday‚ while gold eased to US$1‚601.48 a troy ounce from US$1‚626.15/oz at the JSE's previous close and platinum exchanged hands at $1‚466.20/oz‚ from $1‚493.50/oz previously.
“The market could sell off on Thursday if anything short of stimulatory measures come out of the Fed meeting‚” said Drikus Combrinck‚ portfolio manager at PSG Konsult.
Graeme Körner‚ portfolio manager at Körner Perspective‚ said: "From our viewpoint‚ the basis for the current market rally remains a mystery. We think there is little value to be had in equities currently. Most of the sectors‚ save for commodities‚ which are senstive to global growth‚ are over valued.”
European stock markets were mostly higher‚ with the London’s FTSE up 0.52 percent in late trade.
In the US‚ the Dow Industrial Average was down 0.08. percent at 16:47 local time.
Fed officials have a number of options at their disposal — such as extending the programme known as Operation Twist‚ where the central bank sells short-term Treasury bills and puts the money into longer-term securities.
Alternatively‚ it could launch a new round of quantitative easing.