Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE opened weaker on Monday amid cautious risk-off sentiment, and as the Dow closed higher on Friday on solid earnings numbers from the big US banks.

The Dow firmed 0.38%, but Asian markets started the week on a negative note as Chinese GDP came in at 6.7% in the second quarter, from 6.8% in the first. The Nikkei 225 was closed for a public holiday.

The Shanghai Composite dropped 0.61% and the Hang Seng 0.13%.

Banks and financials on the JSE took the full brunt at the opening, despite the rand holding steady at R13.25 to the dollar. Platinum stocks were sharply lower, and gold stocks were on the back foot after the dollar firmed through the $1.17 level to the euro.

Retail distribution head at Sanlam Investments Gielie de Swardt said global sentiment improved last week, with the Dow ending the week higher for the second consecutive week. "But that was after three negative weeks amid concern about an escalating global trade war."

Locally, he said, the market experienced an outflow from bond and property investments. "The listed property sector remained under severe pressure as discussions over land appropriation without compensation affected foreign investor sentiment."

The property sector has lost 24% so far in 2018.

He said the JSE was also suffering from negative views toward emerging markets, as Argentina and Turkey came under scrutiny due to political unrest and wage disputes.

Brent crude was steady at $75 a barrel.

At 10am the all share was 0.35% lower at 56,169.10 points and the top 40 lost 0.33%. The platinum index shed 1.65, the gold index 1.51%, food and drug retailers 1.01%, banks 0.64%, financials 0.44% and property 0.33%.

Glencore slipped 0.93% to R54.41 and Sasol 0.85% to R500.71.

Sibanye-Stillwater lost 2.04% to R7.22.

Anglo American Platinum rose 0.99% to R359.15. The group said it expected a more than fourfold improvement in its interim headline earnings, and a return to profit in its basic earnings, for the six months to end-June.

Impala Platinum was 3.9% lower at R18.97.

Nedbank dropped 1.26%to R252.98.

Shoprite shed 1.35% to R220.

Nepi Rockcastle lost 0.19% to R120.58.

MTN dropped 0.67% to R105.97. The group said on Monday that it had sold its Cyprus business for about R4bn cash to Monaco Telecom.

Naspers lost 0.24% to R3,365.