Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

The firmer rand gave the JSE much of its direction on Tuesday, with banks and financials gaining on the day, while mining stocks were squeezed.

Clicks and Pick n Pay were the star performers in their index, with both due to report financial results on Thursday. Retail sales and consumer inflation data were expected on Wednesday, with US consumer inflation numbers possibly also moving interest-rate sensitive stocks on the day.

Gold miners lost the most on Tuesday, as investors continued to withdraw from safe-haven positions.

Major global currencies all faced headwinds on Tuesday, with the euro weakening the most against the rand, following disappointing data on German economic sentiment earlier. At the JSE’s close on Tuesday, Germany’s export-heavy DAX 30 had jumped more than 1.5%, while US bourses were also positive as corporate earnings season there continues.

Investor appetite for risk assets had been dented somewhat recently, but appeared to be holding up, BlackRock chief investment strategist Richard Turnill said. Risks remained, however, and markets could be somewhat more volatile in 2018 than they were in 2017.

The all share rose 0.16% to 56,826.7 points and the top 40 lifted 0.11%. Food and drug retailers gained 2.1%, general retailers 0.91%, the property index 0.83% and financials 0.41%. Gold miners fell 2.99% and platinums 0.77%.

Rand hedge British American Tobacco slid 2.33% to R684.69 while Anheuser-Busch InBev added 1.29% to R1,273.44.

Naspers slipped 1.02% to R3,008.89.

Bidcorp rose 2.45% to R276.

Sibanye-Stillwater slumped 5.61% to R10.10 and Harmony 4.29% to R23.64.

Assore contracted 3.02% to R271.48.

Steinhoff International jumped 14.78% to R2.33, coming off a record low ahead of its AGM on Friday.

Pick n Pay gained 3.07% to R68.55, Spar 2.34% to R207.44 and Clicks 2.04% to R193.

Cartrack jumped 8.53% to R18.45, having said earlier it expected to report a rise in headline earnings per share of between 16% and 19% for the year to end-February.

At 5.30pm gold was off 0.11% to $1,343.94 an ounce while platinum was up 0.52% to $934.15. Brent crude was flat at $71.44 a barrel.

At the same time the Dow was up 1.06% to 24,582.21 points, while in Europe, the DAX 30 had firmed 1.72%, the CAC 40 1.03% and the FTSE 100 0.49%.

The top-40 Alsi futures index gained 0.36% to 50,855 points. The number of contracts traded was 17,538 from Monday’s 10,942.