Johannesburg - The JSE opened a tad lower on Tuesday amid what a local trader said were growth concerns in the world's leading economies.
At 09:16 local time, the JSE All Share [JSE:J203] index was down 0.09% to 33,630.69 points. Gold shares were 0.66% lower, resources eased by 0.57%, and platinums were down 0.55%. Banks were 0.10% softer.
Industrials were, however, up 0.15%, and financials gained 0.11%.
The rand was trading at R7.95 to the US dollar, from R7.96 at the JSE's close on Monday. Gold was quoted at $1 647.68 a troy ounce from $1 650.35/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1 563/oz, from $1 573.20/oz at the previous session.
The local trader said the main reason the market was lower was on the back of concerns that the recent growth seen in the US might be "tapering down". "Weaker than expected job markets in March, and on the back of that North America has had the best weather yet retail sales only managed to climb marginally," the trader said. Growth concerns in China were also weighing on resources.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that European stock markets were expected to open a little higher on Tuesday, supported by a positive finish in the US, which was helped by better-than-expected US retail sales data. Eurozone stress, however, particularly regarding Spain, continues to weigh on market sentiment, hampering upward moves.
Capital Spreads dealer Nam Truong called the FTSE 100 index in London higher by around six points to 5,672, the DAX index in Frankfurt 11 points higher to 6,636 and the CAC-40 index in Paris off by just two points at 3,203.
Asian regional markets were mostly lower. The Nikkei was flat, the S&P/ASX fell 0.3%, the HSI slid 1%, the Kospi lost 0.4%, the Taiex dropped 1.9%, the Sensex rose 0.8%, the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.5%, the STI was down 0.5%, and the NZX-50 added 0.2%.
The Asian stock markets were mostly lower as concerns over Europe's sovereign debt problems continued to undermine sentiment, hurting cyclical stocks and pushing the euro lower.
The pervasive gloom, further fuelled by recent soft Chinese data, eclipsed Monday's above-view US retail sales data. In a note to clients, Justin Harper, market strategist at IG Markets Singapore, said that one of the biggest pitfalls for the markets is Spain's debt woes "and the threat of a eurozone meltdown".