JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

The JSE opened lower on Tuesday as Naspers tumbled 3% as a result of unsettled Asian markets. Banks showed little reaction to the firmer rand.

Risk-off sentiment remains firmly in place amid lingering fears of an escalated trade war between China and the US.

Naspers was lower on renewed weakness from Chinese internet company Tencent in Hong Kong, slipping 1.5%. Tencent, of which Naspers owns 31.2%, continues to lose ground as the Chinese authorities clamp down on gaming in the country.

The rand was at R15.06 to the dollar from R15.20 after the euro firmed to $1.1630 on a probable Brexit deal, and as the market positioned itself for more positive local economic data.

Miners and gold stocks were lower on the rand. Brent crude rose 0.71% to $77.9 a barrel as a giant hurricane approached the US east coast. That would be likely to disrupt supplies and drive up fuel prices.

The Dow closed 0.23% lower on Monday. The Hang Seng was 0.47% down on Tuesday.

"Traders seemed reluctant to take huge positions ahead of the slew of critical data expected later in the week," Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking analysts said.

The market was eyeing local manufacturing data for July set to be released later in the morning. The data was likely to be an improvement on the previous month’s 0.7% growth amid expectations that the economy will improve in the second half from the recession in the first.

Thursday’s US inflation numbers will indicate if the US Federal Reserve is set to continue on its committed interest-rate hiking policy, despite earlier misgivings by US President Donald Trump.

At 9.32am the all share was 1.1% lower at 56,090.70 points and the top 40 had dropped 1.22%. The gold index shed 1.82%, industrials 1.47%, resources 1.06%, food and drug retailers 0.84% and property 0.74%,

Anglo American was 1.02% lower at R286.90. Subsidiary De Beers recorded sales of $505m in September compared with $507m in the same period a year earlier, the lowest sales for its seventh cycle since it started releasing its data in 2016.

Richemont slipped 1.22% to R127.82 after gaining on Monday following upbeat numbers. Sales for the five months to August rose 25% at constant exchange rates.

Among banks, Absa lost 1.18% to R152.68 but FirstRand edged up 0.51% to R68.97.

Discovery was 1.39% lower at R173.37.

Attacq lost 2% to R15.19. The group said it was targeting distribution growth of between 7.5% and 9.5% for the 2019 financial year, after reporting a maiden annual distribution of 74c per share as a first-time real-estate investment trust.

Nepi Rockcastle dropped 1.44% to R138.26.

Consumer goods company AVI slipped 1% to R112.01 after reporting annual results on Monday, which included a special dividend.

Naspers lost 2.53% to R3,038.26.

MTN dropped 0.92% to R73.41.

Sappi lost 1.59% to R96.12.

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