The JSE slipped on Monday, amid mixed global markets, as investors considered both the prospects of further stimulus from major global economies as well as deteriorating international business conditions.
Naspers and gold miners led the losses, offsetting a rebound by chemicals giant Sasol, as well as some positive local corporate news.
Economic data out of Asia earlier was gloomy, with Japan revising its second-quarter economic performance downwards, while Chinese exports to the US fell 16% in August — much worse than the market expected.
Offsetting this is hopes that the European Central Bank will announce stimulus measures on Thursday, while China has already moved to lower lending requirements for its banks.
Some sentiment also prevails amid expectations the US and China will resume high-level trade talks in September, in a bid to end a conflict that has been blamed for slowing the global economy.
The all share dropped 0.12% and the top 40 0.14%. Banks lost 0.19% and gold miners 5.01%.
Shortly after the JSE closed the Dow was up 0.35% at 26,891.26 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 had fallen 0.76% and the CAC 40 0.29%, while the DAX 30 had added 0.24%.
The rand was 0.45% firmer at R14.7354/$, reaching its best level in over a month against the greenback.
Gold fell 0.35% to $1,501.35/oz while platinum firmed 0.18% to $950.97. Brent crude was up 1.39% to $62.52 a barrel.
Oil has risen after a Saudi Arabian official said there would be no changes to current production cuts put into effect by oil cartel Opec any time soon.
Sasol added 3.63% to R270, partially recovering from last week’s 9.5% slump, having announced a second delay of its financial results. The chemicals giant said on Friday it had expanded a probe into delays at its Lake Charles project in the US.
Old Mutual gained 1.14% to R18.57. Earlier, axed CEO Peter Moyo returned to work after he won another victory in the high court on Friday. Old Mutual said, however, that it was confident another court would come to a different conclusion.
Intu Properties jumped 14.06% to R7.30, amid reports that private-equity group Orion Capital Managers was considering a buyout.