The JSE. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS
The JSE. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

The JSE opened sharply lower on Tuesday morning, buffeted by risk-off trade, while market heavyweight Naspers slumped 2.85% to R2,730.

Global markets in general were under strain, with Asian bourses between 2% and 3% lower, as sentiment remains under strain due to geopolitical tension in the Middle East and concern over the Italian budget deficit.

“The dollar outperformed on Monday on the back of Italy and Brexit risk while the mere utterance of a protracted equity correction remains a highly sensitive topic that investors fear could morph from a wall of worry into a towering wall of pain,” said Oanda analyst Stephen Innes.

The all share index was showing broad-based losses, although gold miners were cheered by a weaker rand and interest in safe-haven assets.

At 9.30am the all share was 1.13% lower at 51,615 points and the top 40 was down 1.35%. Banks were down 1.8%, industrials 1.41% and financials 1.23%. Gold miners were up 4.13%.

Local focus this week is squarely on the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday, although consumer-inflation data on the same day should also get some attention.

Analysts expect cautious trade ahead of the budget, which will be closely scrutinised for signs it will provide some sort of economic fillip for SA’s struggling economy.

Diversified miner Anglo American fell 2.13% to R303.25 and Glencore 1.28% to R56.82.

Kumba Iron Ore fell 1.61% to R287.12, after earlier reporting that production and sales volumes for the nine months to end-September were within previous guidance, rising 9% compared with the year-earlier period.

Rand hedge British American Tobacco rose 1.71% to R632.31, while Richemont lost 1.57% to R99.41.

Sibanye-Stillwater jumped 8.29% to R11.36, Gold Fields 3.49% to R41.54 and AngloGold Ashanti 3.13% to R143.80.

Standard Bank slipped 2.53% to R158.84.

Verimark gave up 0.99% to R1. The retailer had jumped almost 11% on Monday on news that its CEO Michael van Straaten’s family trust wanted to buy out minority shareholders.

Vodacom was down 1.04% to R1231.33, MTN 1.25% to R84.68 and Telkom 1.52% to R52.

Mondi lost 3.08% to R323.72, extending Monday’s 2.66% slide.

Spur rose 12.42% to R25.35.

At the same time in Europe, the FTSE 100 was off 0.67%, the CAC 40 1.11% and the DAX 30 1.39%.

Gold was 0.8% higher at $1,231.66/oz and platinum up 0.48% to $826.45.

Brent crude was 1.1% lower at $79.18 a barrel.

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