THE JSE closed higher on Tuesday, propped up by banks and retailers, while investor appetite was lacking in the mining space after solid gains on Monday, with consolidation and some profit taking seen in the local market on Tuesday.

Construction stocks were still suffering due to an investigation of alleged price fixing in this sector, while retailers bounced back after a recent sell-off.

At 5pm, the JSE all share index closed 0.23% firmer at 40,663.34 points, with banks adding 1.73% and retailers gaining 1.48%, while platinum counters gave back 1.44% after making gains on Monday.

European markets traded in positive territory, with the London’s FTSE 100 seen 0.72% higher at 5pm local time. The Dow Jones Industrial index was 0.81% firmer at the same time.

"The Spanish economy minister has been accused of fraud and that sent panic through Europe on Monday but these fears have subsided a bit today (Tuesday), with the European Central Bank still committed to the buying of bonds," said Cassie Treurnicht, research analyst at Gryphon Asset Management in Cape Town.

"We have seen some profit taking and somewhat of a cooling down in our market today (Tuesday)," he said.

"Banks have been running hard lately and will be releasing results soon. Investors will pay close attention to these results, because they will be a reflection of general economic activity in the country," the analyst said.

On the JSE, Rand Merchant Bank closed 1.99% higher at R43.13, FirstRand added 1.64% to R31.70 and Standard Bank lifted 1.86% to R119.44.

In mining, Impala Platinum slumped 2.99% to R163.95, after the platinum miner said on Tuesday its earnings and headline earnings per share for the six months ended December last year are estimated to be between 30% and 45% lower than in the previous comparable period.

In construction, Group Five shed 5.74% to R28.75 and PPC lost 1.59% to R32.09.

Retailer Pick n Pay jumped 3.16% to R49, Shoprite picked up 2.79% to R173.97 and Mr Price improved 2.60% to R126.20 after a recent weaker-than-expected trading update led the counter down.