The JSE closed firmer on Monday, despite a seeming lack of conviction in the market, with interest-rate sensitive stocks apparently cheering a fall in the oil price.

Brent crude came off multiyear highs on Monday, as the market digested the measured military action undertaken by the US and its allies in Syria.

Volumes on the local bourse were low, at R11bn, compared to the daily average of R20bn, with the market watching for both local and US consumer inflation data on Wednesday.

Naspers firmed 1.5% to R3,040, despite an earlier drop in Hong Kong listed Tencent, in which it owns a sizeable share.

Asian and European markets were lower, but US markets opened higher, amid earnings season.

About 60 S&P 500 companies were due to report results this week, and so far, 70% of those that had done so managed to beat Wall Street’s expectations on earnings per share, said FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed.

"With such a positive earning season and with better valuations compared to a year ago, there’s a good reason for the bulls to take over control," Sayed said. Ultimately, it would also depend on the forthcoming data releases, and geopolitical developments.

The all share gained 0.3% to 56,733.5 points and the top 40 0.48%. Banks added 1.17%, industrials 0.72% and food and drug retailers 0.55%. Platinums fell 3.32% and gold miners 1.55%.

Kumba Iron Ore slumped 5.56% to R268.32.

British American Tobacco lost 1.41% to R701 while Richemont gained 0.65% to R115.45.

FirstRand added 1.73% to R67 and Barclays Africa 1.18% to R178.88.

Hammerson climbed 3.41% to R83.91 having recently reassured the market the group was going ahead with the proposed Intu takeover. Intu was off 3.92% to R36.03.

Steinhoff International dropped 6.02% to R2.03. The embattled global retailer is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting on Friday.

At 5.30pm gold was up 0.25% to $1,348.31 an ounce and platinum 0.14% to $929.57. At the same time Brent crude had fallen 1.31% to $71.59 a barrel.

The top-40 Alsi futures index gained 0.35% to 50,604 points. The number of contracts traded was 10,942 from Friday’s 17,188.