Johannesburg - South African stocks edged higher in early trade on Tuesday as they were supported by a recovery in gold and resource counters, which were among the biggest losers in Monday's session.
By 09:23, the JSE all share index edged up 0.94%, with resources adding 1.46%, gold stocks firmed 2.97% and platinum miners inched up 0.38%.
Banks collected 0.89%, financials were up 0.54% and industrials edged up 0.48%.
The rand was last bid at R8.13 to the dollar from R8.18 when the JSE closed on Monday. Gold was quoted at $954.15/oz a troy ounce from $947.83/oz at the JSE's last close, and platinum was at $1 242.50/oz, from $1 242/oz at its previous close.
"We are slightly higher this morning. The sectors that were hard hit yesterday, which are gold and resources, have managed to stage a recovery and are leading us up," a local trader said.
"The dollar has also weakened slightly and that is helping to stabilise the metal prices."
"There is some bargain hunting as buyers come in at these low levels. We will get further direction from the US later this afternoon," he said.
Dow Jones Newswires reports that a late bout of financial-stock purchases was offset by selling of commodity and technology stocks, and major indexes finished the session more or less flat.
Investors are watching credit markets for signals again. Last year, bond markets foreshadowed deflation and an economic slowdown, and they now point to growth and inflation. Treasury yields even suggest an interest-rate hike from the Federal Reserve.
To Phil Dow, a veteran strategist at RBC Wealth Management, rising yields in the Treasury market are reminiscent of "the famous bond vigilantes voicing their concern" about inflation in the 1980s. For the stock investor, the economic recovery that would likely accompany inflation could drive up equity prices, he said.
Overall, the reconstituted DJIA tacked on 1.36 points to 8 764.49. The broad S&P 500 fell 0.95 to 939.14. The technology-oriented Nasdaq Composite fell 7.02 to 1 842.4.
Asian shares are lower on Tuesday, with some markets erasing early gains as investors turn cautious again on the near-term outlook, though technology stocks got help from upbeat comments out of Texas Instruments.
European share prices are seen higher as banking shares try to recover from pressure stemming from a downgrade of Ireland's credit ratings.
- I-Net Bridge