REUTERS/Staff
REUTERS/Staff

The JSE fell sharply on Tuesday, posting its worst daily loss since August, with local shares taking their cue from pressure on technology stocks.

The global mood was soured by a 3% slump in the tech-heavy Nasdaq on Monday, prompted by concerns about the outlook for Apple's iPhone, as well as general concerns around the US-China trade war.

The all share fell 2.59% to 51,067.8 points and the top 40 2.91%. Industrials gave up 3.38%, banks 2.67% and resources 1.91%.

Brexit issues, and the future of UK Prime Minister Theresa May, also hover over the market. Local focus is on the ongoing commission of inquiry into state capture, although all eyes are on the SA Reserve Bank's interest-rate decision on Thursday.

Consensus, according to Bloomberg, is that the Reserve Bank will raise interest rates 25 basis points, although some analysts have pointed to easing inflationary pressures and a tepid economy as a reason for the Bank's doves to win the day.

Earlier, the Bank's leading business cycle indicator came in at 104.7 points, down from 104.9 in August. This meant the third quarter's leading indicator had contracted 3.1% quarter on quarter, showing that second-quarter growth in 2019 may lag that of the first, Investec chief economist Annabel Bishop said.

Despite this, it seemed to indicate SA's economy exited its technical recession in the third quarter, Bishop said.

Oil was also on trader's radars, once again falling below $65 a barrel, amid comments by Russian officials that production cuts planned by oil cartel Opec were not set in stone.

Naspers plunged 7.35% to R2,617.37, tracking losses in Hong Kong-associate Tencent. This despite the market heavyweight saying late on Monday that it expected core headline earnings per share (HEPS), which adjusts for nonrecurring and nonoperational items, would rise 35%-43% in the six months to end-September.

Tsogo Sun fell 2.49% to R19.17, after warning earlier that HEPS were likely to decline by between 26% and 28% for the six months to end-September, due to the release of deferred tax liabilities in the prior period.

Coronation Fund Mangers lost 1.38% to R44.26 after saying that group revenue declined 2% to R3.8bn, and its net profit 3% to R1.47bn, in the full year to end-September.

Shortly after the JSE closed, the Dow was down 1.7% to 24,595.87 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 had lost 0.89%, the CAC 40 1.2% and the DAX 30 1.46%.

At the same time, gold was flat at $1,222.90 an ounce, while platinum had lost 1.41% to $840.54. Brent crude had fallen 3.28% to $64.64 a barrel.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za