Picture: WALDO SWIEGERS/BLOOMBERG
Picture: WALDO SWIEGERS/BLOOMBERG

The JSE could struggle to find a clear path on Tuesday given the patchy trading picture in Asia.

Hong Hong’s Hang Seng was up 0.24%, with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.44%. Japanese and Chinese markets were shut for public holidays, resulting in reduced trading volumes in the region.

Equity markets have generally been showing signs of consolidation in recent weeks, neither selling off nor moving higher, after a strong first quarter for most of them.

The JSE ended higher though in April, with a gain of 0.68%

“Markets globally could continue to make new highs at least for the next couple of months,” said Greg Katzenellenbogen, portfolio manager at Sanlam Private Wealth. “Earnings reports have been good, but the question is how far into the future have these excellent earnings been discounted.”

Though the local share market hardly moved at all-index level throughout April,  there was pocket of strength in individual shares. JSE-listed property, which is an asset class on its own, was standout performer with a gain of about 10% in April, though this came off a low base after Covid-19-induced volatility.

The rand, which reached a 15-month high against the dollar in mid-April touching R14.14/$, was also down on Tuesday, trading 0.24% lower at R14.44/$.

The bout of weakness in the rand was baffling in the absence of fundamental data, according to RMB analysts. The US treasury yields, which previously unsettled the broader markets and the rand, were steady at 1.60%.

Foreigners have been net sellers of the SA bonds the tune of a R3.9bn over the past week, according to JSE data.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za

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