The JSE failed to hold on to earlier gains as it slipped in the Tuesday afternoon session to end the day weaker.
The local bourse seemed to have found some relief following the slump that was recorded on Monday. These earlier gains contrasted with the weakness recorded on the Japanese Nikkei which closed 0.55% weaker. Chinese equity markets remain closed for a holiday.
Stocks in Europe recorded modest gains as they tracked mostly higher on the day while US equity futures also pointed higher ahead of the spot market open.
The concerns surrounding the coronavirus remain and there have been reports of extensive travel restrictions being issued in China. Global markets were also spurred by the pledge from China to provide abundant liquidity for its financial markets, which brought some calm for investors.
On the currency market, the US dollar remains sought after which has caused further weakness for emerging markets currencies. The rand fell to a session low of R14.70/$ before it was recorded trading 0.21% weaker at R14.63/$ at 17:00 CAT.
On the JSE, Blue Label Telecoms [JSE:BLU] came under significant pressure following an announcement that Cell C had defaulted on one of its loans which was due in December 2019. As a result, the stock fell 13.52% to close at R2.75.
Gold miners also struggled on the day which saw declines being recorded for Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] which lost 5.74% to close at R49.23, and AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] which fell 3.54% to close at R296.15.
Discovery [JSE:DSY] lost 3.65% to close at R119.23, while Remgro [JSE:REM] weakened by 1.76% to close at R182.98. Retailers were dragged lower by the softer rand which losses being recorded for Shoprite [JSE:SHP] which dropped 2.11% to close at R118.00, and Woolworths [JSE:WHL] which closed at R45.55 after losing 1.3%.
Losses were also recorded for Brait [JSE:BAT] which retreated 4.76% to close at R12.00, and Investec [JSE:INL] lost 1.93% to end the day at R82.76.
Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] only closed 0.1% firmer at R1 144.54 despite releasing an impressive trading statement for its full financial year. RCL Foods [JSE:RCL] surged towards the close, eventually closing 12.81% higher at R11.45, while Steinhoff International [JSE:SNH] gained 5.95% to close at R0.89.
Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] rose on the back of news that it is disposing one of its assets in Spain which saw the stock rise 1.72% to close at R3.55, while its sector peer Hammerson PLC [JSE:HMN] added 2.26% to close at R48.90.
Platinum miner Impala Platinum [JSE:NHM] managed to record gains of 3.03% to close at R134.64, while Northam Platinum [JSE:NHM] closed at R116.48 after losing 1.02%.
The JSE All-share index eventually closed 0.35% lower while the JSE Top-40 index lost 0.3%. All the major indices closed lower on the day led by the financials index which lost 0.51%, while the industrials and resources indices dropped 0.18% and 0.33% respectively.
Brent crude lost further momentum in Tuesday's session as it was recorded trading 0.43% softer at $58.33/barrel just after the JSE close. At 17:00 CAT, platinum was up 0.57% at $988.76/Oz, gold was 0.44% softer at $1 575.78/Oz, and palladium was also down 0.57% to trade at $2 255.00/Oz.