Fading optimism about the US-China trade-war ceasefire put some pressure on the JSE on Tuesday, but the local bourse pushed higher regardless due to a strong showing by Naspers and retailers.
The all share gained 0.3% to 52,234.6 points and the top 40 0.24%. Resources fell 0.71%, while gold miners added 2.27%, property stocks 2.1% and general retailers 1.64%.
Investors were digesting the implications of 90-day truce between the world’s two largest economies, with the weekend agreement prompting a broad-based relief rally on Monday. Analysts attributed the lack of detail as a reason for the market to be cautious rather than giddy, with China failing to confirm any details of compromises.
Local news was more positive, with GDP growth in the third quarter of 2018 beating expectations. Economic growth accelerated to 1.1% in the three months to end-September on an annualised basis, more than twice the market forecast of 0.5% growth.
Despite this, growth was likely to slow in the fourth quarter due to weaker agricultural growth and the imposition of power cuts by Eskom, said Capital Economics senior emerging-markets economist John Ashbourne.
The continued rise in the oil price failed to subdue optimism towards local interest-rate sensitive stocks, with all eyes on a meeting of oil cartel Opec this week. The group, along with Russia, is widely expected to agree to production cuts, although some analysts have said the debate could be contentious.
Local factors are expected to continue to give some direction to the market for the rest of the week, with Parliament voting earlier to adopt a report recommending expropriation of land without compensation.
The rand was choppy, earlier gaining 1% against the dollar, but was flat as the JSE closed.
Diversified miner Glencore fell 1.44% to R52.11 and Anglo American 1.48% to R287.40.
Naspers gained 1.44% to R2,930, having climbed 4.54% on Monday, bolstered by a jump in Asian stocks as a result of the US-China ceasefire.
Sasol lost 0.61% to R431.36, having posted its biggest gain in almost three years on Monday, when it jumped 6.82%.
Mr Price gained 2.96% to R256.
Growthpoint firmed 2.9% to R24.15 and Redefine 2.8% to R9.91.
Shortly after the JSE closed the Dow was down 0.7% to 25,646.66 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 had given up 0.46%, the CAC 40 0.57% and the DAX 30 0.86%.
At the same time, gold was up 0.78% at $1,240.24 an ounce while platinum had lost 0.63% to $801.50. Brent crude was up 1.26% to $62.58 a barrel.