Two days after a US-China trade war ceasefire, the US has threatened new tariffs against Europe.
Renewed investor interest in gold offset losses by retailers and banks on Tuesday morning, as the boost from the recent US-China trade war ceasefire waned a little.
Most Asian markets were higher earlier, tracking gains on Wall Street on Monday, but investor appetite was under pressure amid disappointing economic data releases.
The Shanghai Composite was flat, as investors digested a Chinese purchasing managers’ index for June that showed conditions slipped back into contractionary territory.
Global risk continues, and while US President Donald Trump said on Monday that talks between the US and China had already started, other US officials warned that additional tariffs may be imposed on Europe amid a dispute over subsidies to Airbus.
A weaker rand was putting pressure on interest rate-sensitive shares on Tuesday, but miners benefited from the softer currency as a well as higher commodity prices.
At 10am, the all share was flat at 58,425.9 points, while the top 40 was likewise little changed. General retailers were down 1.93% and banks 0.83%. Platinum miners were up 2.67% and gold miners 2.26%.
Gold was up 0.6% to $1,392.24/oz and platinum 0.47% to $836.20. Brent crude was flat at $65.16 a barrel.
Sasol fell 2.95% to R337.11 — about a seven-year low. The company’s share price has been battered amid cost over-runs at its Lake Charles project in the US.
Rand hedge AB InBev was up 2.1% to R1,276.19.
AngloGold Ashanti was up 3.89% to R246.
EOH was up 2% to R19.85. It said earlier that it had sold 70% of its Construction Computer Software (CCS) business to RIB Software for R444.4m.
Truworths slipped 3.97% to R69.62. It earlier confirmed UK media reports that it was seeking to restructure some of its UK subsidiary office’s long-term debt, citing a depressed trading environment in the UK. It said it did not believe that this restructuring would have a material impact on its operations in SA and the rest of Africa. Business Day