JSE flat as banks slip 2% on weaker rand, but miners gain
The JSE was little changed on Tuesday, while global markets were mixed, with the rand continuing to hover at a three-month low to the dollar.
In the absence of local corporate news and data, currency trading continues to provide both the JSE and global markets with their direction.
Volumes were once again low at R12bn on the day compared with the usual daily average of R20bn.
Investors were closely watching the yield on US treasuries, which have spiked recently on the expectation of rising inflation in the US. Rising bond yields will dull investor interest in equities, while also making corporate borrowing more expensive.
A bumpy road was ahead for markets, but lower returns and higher short-term volatility did not necessarily spell an end of the equity bull market, now in its ninth year, said BlackRock’s global chief investment strategist Richard Turnill.
The all share and the top 40 ended the day flat, with the benchmark index at 57,675.2 points. Platinums gained 2.37% and resources 1.24%. Banks lost 2.23% and general retailers 2.25%.
Diversified miner Glencore gained 0.8% to R65.54 and BHP 2.41% to R268.75.
Kumba Iron Ore closed 0.59% lower at R289.99, having earlier reported that first-quarter sales were largely unchanged from the year earlier.
Richemont added 1.1% to R117.37 and British American Tobacco 0.21% to R642.32.
After being up nearly 2% in the morning, Naspers closed 0.07% lower at R3,026.25.
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) rallied 8.98% to R349.81. The group increased output in the first quarter of 2018, reporting a 7% increase in platinum production to 613,800oz for the first three months of 2018.
Mondi jumped 2.01% to R352.30.
Massmart firmed 3.82% to R159.94, TFG 3.13% to R206.64, and Truworths 3.07% to R100.12.
At 5.30pm the Dow was off 0.16% to 24,409.28 points, while in Europe, the DAX 30 had fallen 0.45% and the CAC 40 0.35%, but the FTSE 100 had firmed 0.19%.
At the same time gold was up 0.32% to $1,328.86 an ounce and platinum 0.68% to $927.82. Brent crude was flat at $74.99 a barrel.
The rand was at R12.3555 to the dollar from $12.3568. The bid on the US 10-year treasury was last seen at 2.9916% from 2.9748%.
The top 40 Alsi futures index gained 0.1% to 51,455 points. The number of contracts traded was 13,442 from Monday’s 14,055.