Unemployed people queue for UIF payments. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Unemployed people queue for UIF payments. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Tuesday’s focus will be on unemployment, which is likely to have worsened again in the first quarter — after improving to 26.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017 from 27.7% in the third quarter.

Statistics SA is scheduled to release its labour force survey for the first quarter of 2018 at 11.30am.

"Traditionally, seasonal hiring in the services sectors in the last quarter of the year results in an improvement in the number of individuals employed. However, this hiring is typically reversed in the following quarter, which could affect the numbers," Investec Bank economist Lara Hodes wrote in her weekly note e-mailed on Friday.

"We therefore expect unemployment to rise slightly to 26.9% for the first quarter of 2018.

"A notable uptick in investment, which would ultimately lift potential gross domestic product (GDP) growth is required to enhance employment rates. Global growth, and policy and political certainty, have improved following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as president of the republic, which could improve employment prospects going forward."

After strengthening to R12.18 to the dollar on Monday, the rand was back to R12.37 to the dollar at 7am on Tuesday.

The rand was trading at R14.74 to the euro and R16.75 to the pound.

Asian stocks were generally down on Tuesday morning, with Naspers’s 31%-owned, Hong Kong-listed associate, Tencent, falling 2.43% to H$401.80, contributing to a 0.9% fall in the Hang Seng index.

Sydney’s ASX 200 index was down 0.44%, with miners BHP Billiton falling 0.47% to A$33.63, and South32 down 1.12% to A$3.96.

Locally, steel door and window frame maker Mazor warned shareholders on May 4 that it expected to report on Tuesday that it had fallen into a headline loss per share of as much as 2c for the year to end-February from the prior year’s headline earnings per share of 43.2c.

Investec’s real estate investment trusts, Investec Property Fund and Investec Australia Property Fund, are scheduled to release their results for the year to end-March.

Investec Property Fund said in a trading update on March 28 that it expected its dividend growth to be between 6% and 6.5%, lower than its previous guidance of up to 8%.

"The slight decrease in guidance is attributable to the continued weakness of the occupier market as well as the supply versus demand imbalance across certain sectors and nodes. The current market is characterised by pressure on reversions, vacancy increases and increased costs to retain and acquire tenants in the form of incentives," the trading update said.

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