A firmer local currency put rand hedges and miners under pressure on Tuesday, with the JSE tracking generally weaker global markets in the wake of softer commodity prices.

International data was mixed and the rand recovered somewhat after upbeat GDP numbers out of Germany lifted the euro.

The JSE’s gold index slumped 3.81%, its largest daily decline since June, after the release of a series of downbeat Chinese economic data for October.

Local retailers were mixed ahead of the release of Statistics SA’s retail sales print for September on Wednesday. Domestic economic growth is seen in many quarters to be diverging from that of the rest of the world, but analysts have said the global outlook remained generally supportive of equity markets.

There was a brighter outlook for equity performance outside the US over the next few quarters as the global economic expansion finally filtered through to the bottom lines of companies in Japan, Europe and emerging markets, said BlackRock global chief investment strategist Richard Turnill.

The all share closed 0.51% lower at 59‚518.90 points and the blue-chip top 40 lost 0.48%. The gold index shed 3.81%‚ platinums 3.55%‚ resources 2.31% and general retailers 0.44%. Food and drug retailers gained 0.07% and property 0.23%.

BHP dropped 2.63% to R263.88 and Anglo American 2.11% at R277.50.

Sasol lost 1.36% to R436.67 as oil prices dropped sharply near the close.

Consolidated Infrastructure group lost a whopping 57.23% to R3.40 after the small-cap company warned that full-year headline earnings per share (HEPS) would drop by 55%.

British American Tobacco dropped 1.57% to R927.18.

AngloGold Ashanti shed 4.22% to R137.45 and Gold Fields 4.01% to R54.75.

Impala Platinum plunged 7.44% to R37.10 and Anglo American Platinum 2.72% to R396.17.

Retailer Steinhoff dropped 2.94% to R53.87 and Massmart 4.05% to R106.

Property group Nepi Rockcastle gained 2.2% to R206.45.

At 5.57pm‚ the Dow was off 0.45% and the Nasdaq 0.43%‚ the FTSE 100 0.19%‚ the CAC 40 0.71% and the DAX 30 0.46%.

At the same time, platinum had lost 0.8% to $924.64 an ounce and gold was flat at $1‚278.27‚ while Brent crude had dropped 2.36% to $61.61 a barrel.

The top-40 Alsi futures index fell 0.67% to 53‚605 points. The number of contracts traded was 23‚469 from Monday’s 22‚558.

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