Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

As investors await the release of SA’s economic growth data on Tuesday, the JSE is poised for a slightly softer opening as the euphoria that greeted global stock markets on Monday morning wanes.

After the JSE’s close on Monday, the S&P 500 index closed 0.39% lower and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.79%.

That set Asian markets up for a weaker opening on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was 0.55% down after the lunch break, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.13% lower.

JSE-heavyweight BHP Group was 0.64% down in Australia, although Naspers’s flagship asset, Tencent, was building on Monday’s gains. The Chinese internet behemoth was 2.83% up in Hong Kong, meaning Naspers is poised for another strong day.

On Monday, Naspers closed 3.34% up at R3,157.

Traders will be keeping a close eye on SA’s GDP numbers for the fourth quarter of 2018, which are due late on Tuesday morning.

Investec said on Monday it expected SA’s economy to have produced growth of just 0.7% for the full year, compared with 1.3% in 2017.

“Growth is expected to improve somewhat, to a still modest pace of recovery of 1.7% in 2019, and only reach 3% by 2023,” Investec economist Kamilla Kaplan said in a note.

A handful of JSE-listed companies are also due to report numbers on Tuesday, including banking group Nedbank, property developer Attacq, dairy group Clover and mining group Royal Bafokeng Platinum.

Royal Bafokeng Platinum said early on Tuesday that it made a net profit of R255.5m for the year ended December, from a loss of R657m in 2017. Revenues were 3.7% up at R3.6bn.

Meanwhile, the rand was marginally stronger versus the dollar at R14.21/$ in early trade. Against the pound, it was 0.22% stronger at R18.69/£, and 0.12% firmer against the euro at R16.09/€.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za