The local bourse eventually closed softer on Tuesday despite opening flat.
The JSE tracked the downward direction of other major global indices which were dragged by news that the US government was planning on restricting US investment into China.
This cast a shadow of doubt on the upcoming trade talks between the US and China, with investors dumping riskier assets such as stocks for treasury bonds. In Europe, stocks were down an average of more than 1% while in the US stocks also opened significantly lower as a result.
The rand slipped further in Tuesday's session to a low of R15.30/$. This weakness was recorded across most emerging market currencies which continue to struggle on the back of US dollar strength. The rand was trading 0.57% weaker at R15.26/$ at 17:00 CAT.
On the local bourse listed property stocks came under significant pressure on the day with losses being recorded for Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] which tumbled 18.61% to close at R6.69; Accelerate Property Fund [JSE:APF] which lost 9.68% to end the day at R1.40; and Hammerson PLC [JSE:HMN] which fell 3.3% to close at R50.34.
Another volatile session ensued for Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] which eventually closed 4.51% lower at R369.93, while coal miner Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] lost 1.44% to close at R137.63.
Dis-Chem [JSE:DCP] struggled on the day as it lost 2.14% to close at R23.37, while Adcock Ingram [JSE:AIP] closed at R56.10 after dropping 1.39%.
Losses were also recorded for Multichoice Group [JSE:MCG] which lost 2.36% to close at R118.95; Truworths International [JSE:TRU] which weakened by 1.12% to close at R53.16; and Absa Group [JSE:ABG] which closed at R148.62 after losing 2.2%.
Miners recorded most of the day's gains with significant gains being recorded for Pan African Resources [JSE:PAN] which rallied 6.9% to close at R2.17; Northam Platinum [JSE:NHM] which added 4.97% to close at R93.60; and DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] which surged 2.86% to R7.55.
Food producer Rhodes Food Group [JSE:RFG] gained 4.1% to close at R15.50, while Tiger Brands [JSE:TBS] added a modest 0.99% to close at R207.32. Aspen Pharmacare [JSE:APN] advanced 2.67% to close at R96.00, while rand hedge Sappi [JSE:SAP] added 3.61% to close at R38.78.
Gains were also recorded for Blue Label Telecoms [JSE:BLU] which closed 4.73% higher at R2.88, and Nampak [JSE:NPK] inched up 0.31% to close at R9.63.
The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 0.48% weaker while the JSE All-index also lost 0.48%. The resources index closed softer as it lost 0.07%. The industrials and financials indices lost 0.48% and 0.79% respectively.
At 17:00 CAT, gold was 0.64% firmer at $1 502.47/Oz, palladium had lost 0.88% to trade at $1 648.60/Oz, and platinum was 0.85% higher at $885.30/Oz.
Brent crude was trading 0.07% softer at $58.28/barrel just after the JSE close.
- Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.