The JSE closed lower on Tuesday, with the gold and retail sectors faring the worst, amid some negative sentiment following President Jacob Zuma’s latest Cabinet reshuffle.

Analysts said the rand’s reaction was relatively muted on Tuesday, but focus still remained on both ANC politics and next week’s medium-term budget policy statement, which would be closely watched by ratings agencies.

The immediate market reaction to the Cabinet reshuffle was testament to the degree of uncertainty over SA’s political system‚ said Novare Investments manager Francois van der Merwe. Further rand weakness could be expected.

The weaker currency failed to lift dual-listed shares, however, rand hedges gained on the day, while the resources sector came under pressure from lower prices for some commodities.

The all share closed 0.48% weaker at 57‚882.70 points and the blue-chip top 40 was down 0.39%. General retailers lost 1.55%‚ food and drug retailers 1.51%‚ the gold index 1.78%‚ banks 1.43%‚ platinums 0.93% and financials 0.74%.

Anglo American was down 0.70% to R260.19.

British American Tobacco gained 1.13% to R864.49.

Harmony Gold was down 3.42% to R23.46.

Barclays Africa dropped 1.91% to R145.52‚ Standard Bank 1.46% to R169 and FirstRand 1.37% to R52.58.

Discovery gained 0.28% to R143.80 after announcing on Monday that it had been awarded a banking licence.

Retailer Woolworths lost 2.21% to R59.80 and Truworths 2.65% to R75.74.

Pick n Pay gained 0.40% to R60.10. It earlier reported interim pre-tax profit rose 14.6% to R605.2m and its after-tax profit was up 15% to R438.8m. It raised its interim dividend by 12% to 33.4c‚ from 29.9c.

Group Five closed 1.74% higher at R11.70‚ as the market continued to react favourably to a R1.6bn cash offer from Greenbay Properties‚ for the group’s European assets.

MTN shed 1.02% to R125.40.

Mediclinic lost 3.9% to R114.42 after the group said in a trading update that interim revenue to end-September was expected to be flat.

The top-40 Alsi futures index lost 0.51% at 52‚170 points. The number of contracts traded was 16‚492 from Monday’s 21‚612.

At 5.40pm, gold had lost 0.84% to $1‚284.02 an ounce and platinum 0.1% to $930.05.

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