Johannesburg — The JSE bucked the market trend to close higher on Tuesday‚ unlike major world markets‚ which were in the red after global credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded France’s long-term government debt from AAA to Aa1 late on Monday‚ which‚ together with a decision on Greece's next aid tranche in the balance‚ weighed on overseas markets.
At 17:00‚ the All Share [JSE:J203] index was up 0.21% at 37 306.60 points‚ with the Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] index up 0.24% to 33 098.28. Platinum added 0.97%‚ while banks shed 1.46%.
“Our local markets were lacklustre‚ directionless and just drifting today‚ with platinums higher‚ due to being oversold last week‚” said Ferdi Heyneke‚ portfolio manager at Afrifocus in Johannesburg.
“Anglo American is still struggling and falling back after their recent results‚ while Sasol gained today on the geopolitical problems in the Middle East‚” he said.
Leading European bourses were in the red with UK’s FTSE 100 down 0.25% at 16:46 local time.
Meanwhile a better-than-expected housing report did not spur US stocks to extend Monday's steep gains in early Tuesday trading‚ after Dow Jones Industrial Average component Hewlett-Packard reported a surprising write-down‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.
At 16:46 local time the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 0.40% to 12 744 points.
The US Commerce Department reported that new residential construction increased 3.6% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894 000‚ the highest rate in more than four years‚ while economists expected a 4.5% decline.
Meanwhile Stanlib said in its Weekly Focus that although no one knew as yet the final outcome of the US congress’s deliberations on the fiscal cliff — automatic tax increases from January 1 as a bunch of previous tax cuts expire — clearly there were fears that the arguing could go into next year.
“Nevertheless the week has started hopefully after President Obama reportedly said he actually hopes to reach agreement over the phone some time this week. Congress and the president are due to meet on Thursday after the annual US Thanksgiving holiday to discuss the issues further‚” Stanlib said.