The JSE. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

The JSE opened Tuesday morning trade flat‚ with a slight positive bias‚ after Wall Street jumped sharply overnight and global equity markets followed suit on Monday morning.

At 9.32am‚ the all share index was flat (0.03%) at 37‚242.15 points‚ with the top 40 index also flat (-0.02%). Resources and gold miners were the leaders‚ with gains of 0.34% and 0.33%‚ while banks were down the most‚ off 0.94%.

Eastern markets were mixed with the Japanese Nikkei 225 closing 0.12% softer after the Bank of Japan deciding against further monetary stimulus this morning. The Hang Seng index was 0.36% higher at 21‚337.85 points in late trade in Hong Kong.

“Conciliatory comments by senior US politicians on both sides of the aisle bring hope that the fiscal cliff will be avoided‚” Rand Merchant Bank said in a morning note.

“Add existing home sales figures that confirm an ongoing housing recovery‚ and Wall Street jumped sharply overnight. Global equity markets are following suit this morning‚” RMB said.

“The market’s focus will be on whether the Eurogroup approves Greece’s aid tranche. This would be a major step‚ although an actual disbursement of the cash still requires approval by various European parliaments and the International Monetary Fund‚ with the latter being held up by the dispute with the EU over further debt write-offs.”

“More US housing figures will be out this afternoon. (US Federal Reserve chairman) Ben Bernanke will speak early this evening‚” the bank said.

Locally‚ opposition parties were bringing an urgent court motion to try to force a debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma‚ RMB said.

“Commodities are advancing amid hopes that a deal on the US fiscal cliff will help to avoid a recession next year. Metal prices remain on an uptrend‚ with gold reversing all of the past week’s losses‚ while copper jumped nearly 3% yesterday. Escalating tension in the Middle East pushed the price of Brent crude to almost US$112 a barrel in overnight trade. Despite the recent rise in the oil price‚ it is still some 3% lower on average compared to the previous month‚” it said.

Among individual stocks on the JSE‚ AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) added 0.42% to R273.35 and Gold Fields (GFI) was up 0.27% at R105.22. Exxaro (EXX) dropped 2.16% to R160.00 and Kumba Iron Ore (KIO) dipped 0.86% to R523.20.

Among banking counters‚ Standard Bank (SBK) gave back 1.09% to R106.68 and RMB Holdings (RMH) dipped 1.84% to R40.02‚ while Abil (ABL) added 0.13% to R31.04.

Hotel group Sun International (SUI) added 2.2% to R97.35. - I-Net Bridge