Bull and bear statues at the JSE. Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
Bull and bear statues at the JSE. Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

The JSE closed weaker on Wednesday in risk-off trade, as miners retreated and gains among rand hedges on the weaker rand were not enough to support the broader market.

The rand weakened to R12.5321 to the dollar from R12.3664, before recovering somewhat toward the close.

Further rises in US bond yields spooked global markets, with Asian and European markets ending the day lower. The Dow was 0.15% weaker at the JSE’s close.

Inflation worries were creeping higher in the US, given the persistent strength in oil, while investors were anxiously watching how far yields on the 10-year would spike after crossing 3% earlier in the week, Franklin Templeton analysts said.

Brent crude was 0.15% lower at $73.73 a barrel.

On the positive side, concern about a global trade war had receded.

Despite the uncertainty about what tariffs and restrictions might be implemented, as well as concerns about retaliation, trade is not expected to have too much influence on monetary policy in the shorter term, Franklin Templeton said.

Various local factors also affected local sentiment, including ongoing unrest in the Northwest province, broad-based strike action and the public sector wage talks which have become bogged down on union demands, and which may lead to some fiscal deterioration.

Local banking and financial stocks had a negative day, despite an upbeat report from BMI Research on the day, praising SA’s sophisticated financial hub, amounting to almost three times the country’s GDP.

"This market will remain attractive to foreign investors based on its high liquidity, large market size, good governance and transparency," BMI said.

The all share closed 1.19% lower at 56,987.20 points and the top 40 lost 1.25%. Banks dropped 1.9%, resources 1.77%, the gold index 1.59%, financials 1.28%, general retailers 1.02% and industrials 0.9%. Property rose 0.11%.

Anglo American shed 4.21% to R288.60 and Kumba Iron Ore 5.3% to R274.62.

British American Tobacco jumped 3.32% to R663.66 and Richemont 0.54% to R118.

FirstRand gave back 1.86% to R64.30 and Standard Bank 1.49% to R210.75.

Sanlam retreated 3.64% to R77.20.

Nepi Rockcastle climbed 1.21% to R134.80 and Hyprop 0.55% to R113.14.

Naspers dropped 2.47% to R2,951.60.

The top-40 Alsi futures index was 1.23% lower at 50.778 points. The number of contracts traded was 21,718 from Tuesday’s 13,442.