JSE lifts a little after rand’s recovery

Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

The JSE edged higher on Tuesday morning, boosted by recent gains in the rand, which helped lift local banks and retailers.

Global equities suffered their second day of sharp losses on Monday, as concern mounts about the state of the global economy.

The inversion of the US treasury yield curve has been of particular concern to investors, as it often points to a looming recession. An inverted yield curve refers to the yield on longer-dated debt falling below that of shorter-dated debt, pointing to market expectations of future accommodative monetary policy.

However, US treasuries recovered on Monday. But despite some improvement in sentiment, analysts say markets remain sceptical about global growth prospects.

At 10am the all share was up 0.14% at 55,442.4 points and the top 40 was 0.12% higher. General retailers had gained 0.92% and banks 0.8%. Gold miners slipped 0.48%.

The rand was 0.18% weaker at R14.3411/$, but had gained 1.3% against the greenback on Monday.

On Tuesday, platinum was down 1.02% at $852.24/oz and gold 0.46% to $1,315.80. Brent crude was 0.45% higher at $67.54 a barrel.

Gemfields was down 4.12% to R1.63, extending Monday's 2.86% fall, when it said it had swung to a headline loss of $62m in the year to end-December.

Mr Price was up 1.29% to R184.02.

Shoprite lifted 1.38% to R153.09 and Pick n Pay 1.35% to R66.

Naspers fell 1.12% to R3,189.33. It fell 1.6% on Monday after saying that it plans to list its nonSA internet operations in Amsterdam, including its prized stake in China’s Tencent.

There are a few local data releases on Tuesday, including nonfarm payroll numbers for December at 11.30am. All eyes, however, are on the SA Reserve Bank's interest-rate decision on Thursday, and the ratings determination by Moody's Investors Service on Friday.

International focus is on Brexit developments, with the UK Parliament expected to conduct a series of votes on Wednesday. On Monday night, the British parliament had voted to take over control of the Brexit process from UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

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