The JSE got off to a good start in line with global sentiment, but was flat by midday with global markets remaining somewhat wary in the wake of their recent volatility as concerns over Europe's debt woes continue to linger.
The local bourse is expected to keep an eye on the US with producer price index and housing starts expected out later.
By 12pm the JSE all share index was 0.16% firmer, with resources down 0.26%, and platinum miners and gold miners both down 1.61%. Banks however added 0.83%, with financials gaining 0.53% and industrials 0.39% stronger. Gold was quoted at US$1,214.56/oz from US$1,230.74/oz at the JSE's last close. Platinum was at $1,677/oz from $1,687.50/oz at the JSE's last close.
"We opened firmer this morning in line with global markets. But the market has since come off its highs. The market is drifting at the moment. It just doesn't know which direction it should go in. We're not expecting a huge volume day," a local equities trader said.
Dow Jones Newswires reports that European stocks rose on Tuesday, taking their cue from the late rally on Wall Street, with banking and basic resources stocks leading the advance.
Asian markets ended mostly higher on Tuesday as a recovery in the euro and prices of some commodities after a recent sell-off spurred risk appetite, with banking and resource stocks fronting gains in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
US stocks are picked to open higher on Tuesday, following on from Monday's late rally on Wall Street and a positive session in Europe and Asia.
On the JSE, Anglo added 64 cents to R288.79 while BHP Billiton picked up 71 cents to R210. Sasol improved R1.10 to R283.09.