The JSE opened marginally firmer on Friday on a softer rand as retailers rebounded after being heavily sold off on Thursday.
The rand was at R12.50 to the dollar from R12.4218 as the market awaited S&P Global Ratings’ latest review on SA, which is expected after the market closure.
Local trading was cautious after the Reserve Bank kept interest rates on hold on Thursday, with a hawkish outlook based on the weaker rand, higher oil prices and geopolitical risks, including the possibility of an extended trade war between the US, China and the eurozone.
“The likelihood is that inflation will continue to trend higher over the upcoming months, which would play a role in preventing the Bank from being able to reduce interest rates any further for the time being,” said FXTM analyst Jameel Ahmad.
The market was following mixed Asian markets after the Dow closed 0.3% lower in the previous session, recovering from session lows toward the close after having initially dropped on news that President Donald Trump cancelled a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The Nikkei rose 0.06% and the Hang Seng lost 0.48%.
Oil prices were lower after Russia indicated it might curb oil supplies in conjunction with oil cartel Opec members. Brent crude was off 0.73% at $78.15 a barrel.
At 10am the all share was 0.24% higher at 56,832.80 points and the top 40 rose 0.28%. General retailers firmed 1.49%, food and drug retailers 1.24%, banks 0.58% and financials 0.48%. The platinum index shed 0.77% and property 0.34%.
Barloworld gained 0.71% to R142.01.
FirstRand rose 0.7% to R60.53.
Woolworths added 1.4% to R59.51.
Massmart rose 2.61% to R118. It closed 17.96% lower on Thursday after reporting sales growth of 0.8% for the first 19 weeks of the 2018 financial year.
TFG recovered 4.03% to R187.26 after dropping more than 7% in the previous session.
Murray & Roberts was 1.45% lower at R17 after Aton raised its bid for the group by 13% to R17 per share on Friday morning, from R15 per share. Aveng shed 4.17% to 46c.
Tiger Brands rose 1.65% to R338.79 after falling nearly 5% on Thursday following disappointing interim results.
Mediclinic was up 1.75% to R105.40 after plummeting more than 8% in the previous session.