Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE closed in negative territory on Tuesday with miners leading losses, while global markets were mixed as focus shifts to stimulus hopes amid growing fears of a global economic slowdown.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to give its update on monetary policy on Thursday with investors betting on the likelihood that it will introduce stimulus measures. The markets are also awaiting the US Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision, amid hopes that the Fed will begin an easing cycle.

Shortly, after the JSE closed, the Dow was down 0.27% to 26,764.18 points following a four-day winning streak. In Europe, the FTSE 100 added 0.31%, and Germany’s DAX 30 0.25%, while France’s CAC 40 was unchanged. 

“European shares are positioned to enter standby mode ahead of the highly anticipated ECB meeting on Thursday,” senior research analyst at FXTM Lukman Otunuga said in a note. “Where global equity markets conclude this week will not only be influenced by ongoing trade developments but whether the ECB satisfies expectations by introducing a new wave of monetary policy stimulus to support the eurozone economy.”

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.12% after China’s producer price index fell 0.8% year-on-year in August, its sharpest fall in three years. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat while Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.35%. 

At 5.17pm, the rand had firmed 0.71% to R14.6588/$, in its third day of gains. It had strengthened 0.71% to R16.1987/€ and 0.61% to R18.1277/£. The euro was flat at $1.1051. 

Gold was down 0.21% to $1,495.65/oz and platinum 0.74% to $937.29. Brent crude added 1.48% to $63.61 a barrel.

The JSE all share fell 0.34% to 55,335.80 points and the top 40 0.24%. Gold miners dropped 1.64% and the platinum mining index 4.43%.

AngloGold Ashanti lost 1.68% to R298.34, Gold Fields 1.52% to R74.69, and Sibanye 2.66% to R17.20.

Impala Platinum slumped 5.97% to R81.05, Anglo American Platinum 3.66% to R839.81, and Northam 3.54% to R72.74. Assore plunged 7.02% to R279 and Kumba Iron Ore 5.11% to R391.55.

Attacq rose 0.61% to R11.50 after it declared a dividend of 81.5c in the year to end-June, a 10.1% increase.

Rand Merchant Investment Holdings fell 0.3% to R30.38. It said on Tuesday that its headline earnings fell 7% to R3.8bn in the year to end-June. 

Locally, manufacturing production contracted 1.1% in July from a downwardly revised 3.6% in June (from an initial 3.2% in June), data from Statistics SA showed on Tuesday. The consensus was for a contraction of 1.5%, according to a Bloomberg poll.

Moody’s Investors Service said on Tuesday it will keep SA’s growth forecast for 2019 at 0.7% after revising it down from 1.1% in June. It is the only credit-ratings agency that has not downgraded SA to sub-investment grade.

The Bureau for Economic Research is expected to release the business confidence index for the third quarter on Wednesday. The expectation is for business confidence to remain unchanged at 28 points, according to a Bloomberg consensus.

mjoo@businesslive.co.za