JSE edges higher in cautious trade, led by gold miners
The gold price is at a seven-month high due to a soft dollar and interest in safe havens, but investors are wary amid a host of risk events
The JSE was a little higher on Tuesday morning, with miners faring best, despite an air of caution on global markets.
Brexit, the US-China trade war and US monetary policy are all on traders's radars this week. Wednesday sees the resumption of trade negotiations between the US and China, as well as the first US Federal Reserve federal open market committee meeting in 2019.
At 10am the all share was up 0.23% at 53,888.5 points and the top 40 was 0.28% higher. Gold miners had added 1.87%, banks 0.6%, the resources index 0.58% and financials 0.3%. Food and drug retailers were down 0.13% and general retailers 0.11%.
Gains in the banking index were largely due to Absa, which was up 2.72% to R180.39. Earlier it said its long-time CEO Maria Ramos would depart at the end of February, retiring at age 60.
Much of the caution on global markets has been prompted by the imposition of criminal charges against Chinese tech-giant Huawei, which stances accused of sanctions-busting in Iran.
Some analysts maintain that the charges against Huawei represent the White House adopting a tough stance as trade talks get underway in Washington this week.
Local data is second-tier on Tuesday, with the majority of focus instead on London, where British lawmakers will vote on UK Prime Minister Theresa May's plan B for Brexit.
“Today holds little promise of the rand extending its gains against the greenback as Asian stocks are generally weaker, implying another rocky day for local equities, and barely any data or event risk on the cards,” said Rand Merchant Bank analyst Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana.
Diversified miner Anglo American was up 1.55% to R337.13 and Glencore 0.94% to R52.74.
Sasol had risen 0.7% to R419.72.
Rand hedge British American Tobacco had jumped 3.86% to R440.57, but remains 5% down so far in February. The cigarette giant has come under pressure recently from factors including signs US regulators were gearing up to impose further restrictions on smoking.
Gold Fields was up 2.14% to R53.10 and AngloGold Ashanti 2.08% to R188.24.
Platinum had risen 0.64% to $815.98/oz and gold 0.34% to $1,307.50. Brent crude was flat at $59.93 a barrel.