The JSE was slightly lower on Tuesday morning as the market sought direction on a firmer rand and after Monday’s upbeat performance.

The rand firmed to R13.3407 against the dollar in morning trade from R13.4104 before weakening again on a flat euro at $1.1744.

The Dow closed 1.31% higher on Monday and Asian markets recorded gains on Tuesday, with the Nikkei 225 lifting 0.89%. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.44% and the Hang Seng 0.31%.

Property stocks showed signs of recovery at the opening after an indifferent close on Monday. Banks and financials were marginally lower, with Naspers following weak Tencent trade in Hong Kong.

Internet and gaming company Tencent, of which Naspers owns 31.2%, earlier announced that it would list its music business in the US.

If worries about protectionism continue to intensify — as seems increasingly likely — then emerging market assets were likely to remain under pressure, Capital Economics said in a note.

"But even if trade concerns abated, we think that the outlook for both emerging market currencies and equities in the next few years is fairly downbeat," they said.

Global miners were mixed on a firmer oil price. Brent crude was 0.68% higher at $78.73 a barrel.

At 10am the all share was 0.41% lower at 57,978.70 points and the top 40 had lost 0.44%. The platinum index dropped 1.19%, the gold index 0.9%, industrials 0.67%, financials 0.24%, general retailers 0.21% and banks 0.18%. Property rose 0.05% and resources 0.03%.

Arcelor Mittal rose 6.98% to R2.30.

British American Tobacco dropped 1.47% to R691.50.

FirstRand shed 0.38% to R66.25 and Old Mutual 0.76% to R28.64.

Steinhoff rose 6.86% to R1.87.

Sirius Real Estate rose 3.74% to R11.65.

Naspers shed 1.58% to R3,454.45.

Mediclinic dropped 0.99% to R96.28.