The JSE. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

The JSE pared gains on Tuesday to close off the all-time high reached earlier in the day‚ with banks and financials gaining and mining houses dropping. Global markets were mostly subdued‚ while investors’ attention is firmly focussed on the outcome of the US presidential election.

At 5pm‚ the all share index closed flat (0.05%) at 37‚597.68 points‚ with the banking sector gaining 1.51% and resources giving up 0.45%.

The JSE was fairly positive earlier‚ but closed off its highs after disappointing PMI figures out of Europe.

“It was a peculiar local market today prior to the US elections‚ with investors just pushing things around to re-arrange the furniture. This is not a market to take risk in‚” said Mark Wilkes‚ trader at Global Trader in Cape Town.

“If President Barack Obama wins‚ the dollar should strengthen and the rand would come under a bit of pressure. We need a swift election result‚ otherwise markets will drift until the result is clear‚” he added.

Meanwhile US stocks opened higher on Tuesday as American voters headed to the polls to decide which political party would control the White House for the next four years‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

At 4.48pm local time‚ the Dow Jones Industrial Average had advanced 63 points‚ or 0.48%‚ to 13‚175.87 points.

National polls suggest an election that remains too close to call‚ although polls in some battleground states showed US President Barack Obama held a slight edge.

European markets were broadly higher‚ as the US election provided distraction from weak manufacturing data in the eurozone‚ Germany and the UK‚ as well as a parliamentary vote in Greece on austerity measures‚ expected on Wednesday‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Major European stock markets were trading in positive territory with the FTSE 100 seen 0.61% higher at 4.48pm local time.

Local counters that showed movement were Anglo American (AGL) down 0.72% to R267.56 and BHP Billiton (BIL) down 0.68% to R276.40.

ArcelorMittal (ACL) shed 3.24% to R34 and Coal of Africa (CZA) gave back 5.67% to close at R1.83.

Banking counter FirstRand (FSR) added 2.69% to R30.19‚ while Nedbank (NED) dipped 1.16% to R181.70. Among financial services stocks‚ Santam (SNT) added 1.44% to R183.00 and Discovery (DSY) gained 0.76% to R56.85.

In construction Group Five (GRF) surged 3.20% to R25.80‚ while PPC (PPC) shed 2.56% to R29.29.

Aluminum player Hulamin (HLM) managed to recover from a 7% fall on Tuesday as traders feared that higher electricity costs could affect the company. The counter closed just 0.27% softer at R3.74. - I-Net Bridge