Bull and bear statues at the JSE. Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
Bull and bear statues at the JSE. Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

SA’s main bourse could struggle for direction in early trading on Tuesday as global markets await new catalysts.

US stocks ended only marginally higher on Monday in a light trading session. Asian stocks were also treading water on Tuesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, Korea’s Kospi index and Japan’s Nikkei 225 were flat after the morning session.

Naspers-associate Tencent was 0.2% up in Hong Kong, while BHP Group was 0.2% higher in Australia.

On Tuesday, Statistics SA is due to report tourist accommodation, land transport and food and beverages numbers for February, as well as liquidations and insolvencies data for March.

On the JSE, small-cap insurer Indequity Group is due to report interim financial results.

Elsewhere, euro-area government debt and consumer confidence statistics are due, along with new home sales numbers from the US. Crude oil stock figures are also due in the US.

Meanwhile, the rand was weaker after being “caught off guard this weekend”, said Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.

The local currency slipped as National Treasury announced a bailout for Eskom on Friday, Botes said.

The rand was slightly weaker on Monday morning at R14.17/$, R18.40/£, and R15.94/€.

“The rand is likely to continue its leg lower today as the Eskom bailout continues to filter through the currency market,” Botes said. “At the same time, emerging markets are again feeling the pinch of safe haven purchases as the US/Iran oil debacle strains sentiment.”

The US’s move to clamp down tighter on Iranian oil exports has lifted prices. Brent crude was another 0.2% up at $74.27 a barrel on Tuesday morning.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za