Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE opened weaker on Friday as miners retreated on a firmer rand and as retailers and banks took a breather from the strong gains in the preceding few sessions.

Property stocks came under renewed selling pressure.

Locally focused shares were generally lower following the Reserve Bank’s decision on Thursday to keep interest rates on hold.

The rand broke through a two-and-a-half-year best level of R12.19/$ to reach R12,0654/$ in early-morning trade in a weaker dollar environment.

"The improved performance of the rand cast a cloud over domestic risk assets at the outset of today’s session, but losses could be marginal at most," analysts at Momentum SP Reid said.

The JSE experienced technical problems at the close on Thursday. It said in a statement on Friday that normal market operations would continue on Friday.

The Dow closed weaker on Thursday but still managed to hold above the 26,000-point level. Asian markets were mixed, with the Nikkei 225 up 0.19% and the Hang Seng losing 0.02%.

At 9.30am the all share was 0.25% lower at 60,768 points and the top 40 lost 0.15%. The gold index shed 2.43%, platinums 2.36%, property 2.16%, resources 0.9% and financials 0.56%. Industrials added 0.18%.

Anglo American shed 0.32% to R296 and Kumba Iron Ore 2.12% to R367.

Sasol shed 1.46% to R428.66. Brent crude was 0.74% lower at $68.58 a barrel.

Gold Fields shed 3.72% to R51.21.

Among financials, Liberty Holdings shed 1.96% to R126.90 and MMI Holdings 1.03% to R22.07.

Steinhoff was up 2.32% to R7.07. The troubled group said in an announcement it "could give no assurance that Steinhoff would be able to reach agreement with its finance providers on acceptable terms or at all".

Shoprite rose 1.34% to R242.70 but Massmart slipped 0.21% to R144.20.

Resilient was down 2.98% to R121.99 as the group had to face new allegations contained against CEO Des de Beer in a false twitter account, which the company refuted.

Analysts expect the volatile trade in the Resilient stable to continue. Nepi Rockcastle shed 5.38% to R164.11 and Greenbay 7.62% to R1.94.

Naspers rose 0.77% to R3,688.