South African futures were higher on Tuesday, as banking and financial shares rocketed on positive sentiment, following Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s victory in the ANC party presidential race.

The JSE brushed off mixed global sentiment, with the Dow flat at the opening bell. In European trade, the FTSE had last added 0.20%, but the DAX 30 had dropped 0.17%.

South African companies listed in Europe were among the sharpest gainers after "pro-business, anticorruption candidate Ramaphosa" was elected leader of the ANC on Monday, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The all share closed 0.8% higher at 58,170.40 points and the blue-chip top 40 rose 0.47%. Banks leapt 8.08%, general retailers 7.4% and financials 4.6%. The gold index dropped 3.76%, resources 2.59% and platinums 2.47%.

Although there was still optimism that the US tax reform bill would be passed in the House on Tuesday, and in the Senate on Wednesday, last-minute hiccups kept the dollar on the back foot.

Tax reform was one of the key initiatives that contributed to President Donald Trump’s election victory in 2016, as he vowed to revitalise a sluggish US economy, Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said.

While it may have taken longer to deliver than he expected, it would appear that Republicans’ determination to give Americans an early Christmas present had paid off, although there had been numerous debates about who actually stood to benefit most from the bill, he said.

Brent crude was last at $63.75 a barrel, up 0.63%. The euro was at $1.1824 from $1.1782.

The top-40 Alsi futures index rose 0.21% to 51,213 points. The number of contracts traded was 86,081, from Monday’s 67,584.

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