The JSE closed weaker on Tuesday, but held above 58,000 points for the second day, as Naspers led the market lower after a stand-out performance on Monday.
Naspers ended the day 0.4% lower at R3,496 with a weak performance from Tencent in Hong Kong trade weighing on the market heavyweight. Tencent closed 2.32% lower, with the Hang Seng ending the day flat, as fear about a growing trade war gripped markets.
The rand failed to provide direction for the market, with the local currency remaining fairly range-bound between R13.34 and R13.52 to the dollar, with general retailers and banks losing ground.
The pound gained marginally on the rand, despite trading flat to the dollar against political turmoil in the UK, with two key cabinet ministers resigning in protest over Prime Minister Theresa May’s new soft Brexit stance. The pound also felt pressure as the uncertainty over Brexit could prompt the Bank of England to hold off raising rates in August.
Financial markets were in an uneasy equilibrium, global asset manager BlackRock said in a note: “Strong US growth is leading the global expansion and powering corporate earnings, but uncertainty around the outlook is rising and financial conditions are tightening.”
The Dow was 0.55% up at the JSE’s close.
Higher oil prices failed to lift commodities. Brent crude rose 0.5% to $78.57 a barrel amid supply concerns in the US and the North Sea.
The platinum price dropped 1.3% to $837.25.
The all share closed 0.33% lower at 58,027.10 points and the top 40 dropped 0.38%. General retailers lost 1.76%, banks 1.2%, financials 0.74% and platinums 0.69%. The gold index gained 0.16%, resources 0.15% and property 0.14%.
Sasol rose 1.03% to R519.65 and Kumba Iron Ore 2.34% to R321.76.
Anheuser-Busch InBev lost 0.71% to R1,385.84.
Standard Bank was 1.46% lower at R194.91.
The rand was at R13.3513 to the dollar at the JSE’s close with the euro at $1.1726 from $1.175.
Local bonds lost ground, with the R186 bid at 8.680% from 8.615%. The US 10-year treasury was at 2.8615% from 2.8598%.
The top 40 Alsi futures index dropped 0.78% to 51,806 points. The number of contracts traded was 21,050 from Monday’s 18,971.