The JSE ended Tuesday flat in mixed trade amid indications that US President Donald Trump is unhappy with the Federal Reserve and indications that the US is set to slap China with a new set of higher tariffs.
Emerging-market sentiment was subdued for most of the day on an anticipated higher opening on the Dow, which had risen 0.27% by the JSE’s close. European markets were mixed with the FTSE 100 0.38% lower while the DAX 30 was 0.47% higher.
Worsening relations with the US have spurred a sharp sell-off in Turkish assets and exposed economic weaknesses, such as high external debt and rampant inflation, BlackRock analysts said in a note. “We see many of these problems as unique to Turkey, yet other emerging markets have felt the heat.”
BlackRock remains leery of markets with high debt and deteriorating growth, including SA, and see long-term opportunities in regions with sound fundamentals, such as emerging-market Asia.
The dollar weakened on Trump’s tweet that he was “not thrilled” with the Fed’s interest-rate hiking strategy, providing some breathing room for the rand, which reached a best intra-day level of R14.3209, before weakening slightly.
Naspers closed 1.74% higher at R3,304.50, but the all share gained just 0.07% to 57,186.70 points. The gold index rose 2.37%, general retailers 2.07%, banks 1.25%, financials 0.87% and property 0.63%. Resources dropped 1.19% and platinums 1.12%.
Among banks, Capitec jumped 4.15% to R980 but Absa slipped 0.98% to R158.14.
Shoprite slumped 4.15% to R203, after releasing disappointing annual results.
Steinhoff International was 0.9% lower at R2.19. The speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete has authorised the standing committee on finance to issue summons on former CEO Markus Jooste and former CFO Ben la Grange, to give evidence at a hearing scheduled for next week. Steinhoff reported on Tuesday that it had suspended La Grange.
Adcock Ingram rose 2.31% to R66.40 on a favourable trading update.
The weaker dollar initially supported commodity prices, but precious metals fell as the day progressed. Platinum was up nearly 1% to $801.79 an ounce before reversing course by the JSE’s close to $787.93, 1% lower for the day.
The rand was at R14.3914 to the dollar from R14.5261 and the benchmark R186 government bond was bid at 8.99% from 9.02%.
The top 40 Alsi futures index gained 0.22% to 51,100 points. The number of contracts traded was 16,939 from Monday’s 20,693.