Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

THE JSE surrendered early gains in midday trade on Tuesday, as geopolitical tension in the Middle East and nagging concerns about a slowdown in China’s economy continue to weigh.

After a shaky start to the new year on Monday following poor Chinese factory data that rattled global markets, the local bourse managed to eke out some gains in opening trade on Tuesday, buoyed by a recovery in gold and platinum prices.

However, the turnaround proved shortlived as nagging concerns resurfaced.

At 12pm the JSE all share was 0.43% lower at 49,106.80 and the blue-chip top 40 fell 0.54%. The gold index firmed 5.2%, platinums gained 1.54% and resources were up 0.16%.

But industrials were down 0.47%, with financials 0.82% weaker and banks off 0.89%.

Barclays Research analysts said Chinese markets remained jittery after seesawing on Monday. Some calm returned after the Peoples Bank of China injected the largest amount of liquidity into the market since September.

"Concerns were also alleviated after the Chinese authorities said they were studying ways to control the pace of share sales when a ban on selling by major shareholders expires this week," Barclays said.

Among individual gold shares Gold Fields rocketed 8.62% to R47.25 and Sibanye rose 7.65% to R26.45.

Anglo American Platinum was 3.51% stronger at R179.07 and Lonmin firmed 1.82% to R18.43.

Resources group Anglo American surrendered 0.96% to R64.27.

Among banks, Standard Bank lost 1.82% to R109.29 and Nedbank was down 0.92% at R179.46.

Sanlam was off 2.43% at R55.86.

Retailers saw earlier gains reversed with Truworths down 1.65% to R86.06 and The Foschini Group giving up 0.84% to R113.99. Massmart, however, gained 1.91% to R99.65.

Telecoms stocks were mixed with Telkom down 2.06% at R60.92 but MTN was 1.17% firmer at R131.43.

Heavyweight stock Naspers was off 1.5% at R2,029.07, with rival media group Caxton down 5.19% to R15.36.