The JSE opened marginally higher in cautious trade on Thursday after ratings agency Moody’s warned it could cut the investment grades of a number of state-owned enterprises (SOE).
Moody’s said on Wednesday it was reviewing the investment grades of Eskom‚ the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral)‚ the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Land Bank.
The decision follows on asset manager Futuregrowth’s decision two weeks ago to halt further investments in five SOEs‚ on corporate governance concerns.
The market was also eyeing crucial US data set to be released on the day‚ including retail sales for August and initial jobless claims for September. Better-than-expected numbers could increase the likelihood of an US interest rate increase next week as the US Federal Reserve previously indicated a rate hike was data-dependent.
At 9.34am‚ the all share was 0.15% up at 52‚580.40 and the blue-chip top 40 added 0.22%. General retailers rose 0.43% after dropping sharply on Wednesday on disappointing retail sales data for July. Industrials and banks were both up 0.36%. The gold index shed 0.94% and platinums dropped 0.45%.