The JSE was off to a relatively weak start on Tuesday morning, de-coupling from other world markets that responded positively to easing geopolitical tension.

The all share was down 0.39% to 56,511.30 points in early trade, as the measure of the top 40 leading companies shed 0.42%.

Gold miners, in particular, bore the brunt of a weaker gold price as geopolitical tensions subsided and the rand strengthened slightly.

The focus was increasingly on the US first-quarter corporate earnings, which have the potential to enliven price action in global markets.

Momentum Securities analysts said in a note that the key was US companies delivering on the "lofty" expectations for the first-quarter earnings season. "For the moment, the market continues to reward risk assets as earnings have largely met expectations."

European markets were mostly higher in mid-morning trade, despite a mixed session in Asia. Markets in general had a particularly rough time in April, hobbled in part by trade tariff concerns, which analysts have warned could disrupt global trade and the global economy.

AngloGold Ashanti was down 4.34% to R106.80, Gold Fields 2.97% to R46.03, Sibanye-Stillwater 3.18% to R10.36 and Harmony Gold 5.26% to R23.40.

Kumba Iron Ore was up 1.63% to R263.94, Assore 1.75% to R275.04 and Royal Bafokeng 4.98% to R24.23.

British American Tobacco was down 1.39% to R691.27 and Naspers 1.32% to R3,000.