The JSE advanced on Tuesday primarily on the back of gains in the financials and industrials indices.
On the global markets, attention shifted to major US banks which released their earnings results for the 4th quarter of 2019. JP Morgan stood out as it widely beat most analyst estimates after it reported a surge in both revenues and earnings. As a result, US equity futures tracked mostly higher on the day.
The outlook was rather mixed in Asia and Europe where modest gains and losses were recorded for the major indices.
There was some disappointment in terms of local economic data as South Africa's consumer confidence for the 4th quarter was recorded -7 which was unchanged from the prior recorded level.
The rand was volatile as it fell to a session low of R14.49/$ before it found momentum in the afternoon to surge to a session high of R14.35/$. At 17:00 CAT, the rand was trading 0.05% weaker at R14.40/$.
On the local bourse, retailers led gains on the day led by Woolworths [JSE:WHL] which rose following the announcement of the successor of the group's CEO. The stock jumped 8.3% to close at R52.20.
Massmart [JSE:MSM] also recorded significant gains as it added 8.64% to close at R56.10, while Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] rose 2.48% to close at R63.60.
Financials traded mostly firmer on the day with which saw gains being recorded for Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] which rose 2.58% to close at R168.05, and FirstRand [JSE:FSR] which gained 1.97% to close at R60.49. Old Mutual [JSE:OMU] advanced 3.25% to close at R19.69 following news that it had won a case against its former CEO's reinstatement.
Gains were also recorded for Imperial Logistics [JSE:IMP] which gained 1.97% to close at R56.02, and Bidvest Group [JSE:BVT] which closed at R218.65 after gaining 1.81%.
Gold miners traded mostly softer on the day with declines being recorded for AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] which fell 4.01% to close at R295.51, Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] which lost 3.75% to close at R50.00, and Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL] which closed at R34.80 after losing 2.11%.
Packaging specialist, Mondi PLC [JSE:MNP] retreated 2.86% to close at R302.01, while Mpact [JSE:MPT] closed 2% lower at R15.19.
Oil and gas producer Sasol [JSE:SOL] weakened by 2.43% to close at R301.00 after the company announced that a fire incident at one of the Lake Charles units had recently occurred.
Losses were also recorded for EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] which fell 1.69% to close at R11.61, while Telkom [JSE:TKG] closed at R34.60 after losing 1.14%.
The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 0.74% higher while the broader JSE All-share index gained 0.69%. The Resources Index closed 0.53% softer while the industrials and financials indices managed to gain 1.15% and 1.69% respectively.
At 17:00 CAT, gold was 0.14% softer at $1 546.24/Oz, platinum was up 0.34% at $977.31/Oz, and palladium was trading 0.97% higher at $2 152.95/Oz.
Brent crude found some traction during Tuesday's session as it was recorded trading 0.59% higher at $64.61/barrel just after the JSE close.