Picture: 123RF/KASTO
Picture: 123RF/KASTO

The JSE closed higher on Tuesday, while global markets were mixed, as developments in the US-China trade war have become fairly muted.

The world’s two largest economies have kept investors on their toes as there seems to be no end in sight to the protracted trade war, which is now well into its second year. Recent reports have fueled expectations that the two parties will soon sign the first phase of a deal after Chinese authorities said the two countries have recently had constructive discussions.

Shortly after the JSE closed, the Dow was down 0.43% to 27,908.05 points, but remains in record territory. In Europe, the FTSE 100 had added 0.19% and Germany’s DAX 30 0.18%, while France’s CAC 40 was down 0.31%. 

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.85% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 1.55%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.53%.

Markets continue to monitor the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong as protest action has intensified over the past three days. “We expect more heavy-handed police tactics that could be bad news for investors as well as those on the ground. Hong Kong is still near the top of our list of risk factors,” said London Capital Group head of Research Jasper Lawler.

The rand was the best performing among emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg over the past five days on Tuesday evening.

At 5.30pm, the rand had firmed 0.22% to R14.7805/$, 0.21% to R16.3663/€ and 0.27% to R19.1367/£. The euro was flat at $1.1073.

Gold was little changed at $1,469.44/oz while platinum added 1.13% to $904.89. Brent crude lost 1.04% to $61.60 a barrel.

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the yields on Eskom’s 2021 dollar bonds climbed the most in nine months following the appointment of Nampak CEO Andre de Ruyter, suggesting that investors may not be convinced that the new CEO can turn some of the power utility’s challenges around.

The JSE all share gained 1.6% to 57,372.6 points and the top 40 1.73%. Banks rose 1.92% and resources 1.5%.

Investec Asset Management said on Tuesday that it will soon change its name to Ninety One as part of its de-merger from Investec Group. It said the separation is on track for completion in the first quarter of 2020. Investec Ltd gained 1.59% to R84.98. 

Coronation Fund Managers reported a 14.5% decline in revenue to R3.3bn in the year to end-September. The company also said it expects net flows to remain negative as the savings industry battles a weak economic environment. It declared a dividend of R3.41, down 18.8% from the previous year. Coronation’s share price gained 3.79% to R43.30.

Stor-Age raised its dividend per share by 7% to 54.89c in the six months to end-September. The self-storage group said it continues to outperform despite a challenging macro-environment in SA and the UK. Its headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased 18.2% to 43.50c. Despite this, its share price fell 1.69% to R15.14.

Investment company Reinet said its net asset value decreased by €85m in the six months to end-September, from €4.830bn. It said the decline was due to a decrease in the fair value of some of its investments and the payment of a dividend to shareholders. Reinet declared a dividend of about €36m or €0.19c per share. Its share price gained 1.63% to R291.77.

Taste Holdings, which owns luxury brands NWJ and Arthur Kaplan, said it has entered into an agreement to dispose of food chains Maxi’s and the Fish & Chip Company. The company said in early November that it plans to sell its food businesses, including international coffee brand Starbucks, and Domino’s Pizza, to focus on its luxury brands. Its share price was unchanged at 7c. 

Statistics SA is expected to release consumer inflation for October on Wednesday. The median forecast is for the inflation rate to have fallen to 3.9%, from 4.1% in September, according to Bloomberg.

mjoo@businesslive.co.za