The JSE slipped more than 1% in broad-based losses on Wednesday morning, reacting to a sharp sell-off of US equities on Tuesday as investors grew sceptical about the prospect of easing US-China trade tensions.
Global markets, including the JSE, had rallied strongly on Monday after the US and China agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade dispute in order to settle on an agreement. Analysts, however, have pointed to a lack of any clear details of an agreement, with a number of outstanding issues remaining.
The Dow fell more than 3% on Tuesday, with Asian markets lower on Wednesday.
At 9.28am the all share was down 1.19% at 51,613.2 points and the top 40 was down 1.27%. Industrials fell 1.36%, banks 1.61%, and food and drug retailers 1.31%.
Naspers lost 2.07% to R2,869.33, in line with losses of its Hong Kong-listed associate, Tencent, earlier.
Local focus is on politics, with investors watching the debate on land expropriation without compensation. This has put some pressure on the rand on Tuesday.
That issue, as well as Eskom’s ongoing load shedding, will increasingly weigh on the market the longer they drag on, said TreasuryOne senior currency dealer Andre Botha.
Rand hedge AB InBev was down 0.92% at R1,003.01 and Richemont fell 0.38% to R91.
FirstRand lost 2.22% to R66.85 and Absa 2.12% to R157.
Spar gave up 3.08% to R195.35.
Greenbay plummeted 53.33% to 42c after going ex-dividend on the 50c return on capital payment it announced on November 27.
Fortress B was down 0.43% to R13.89, having confirmed on Tuesday that it had agreed to a forensic probe into its finances.
Both Greenbay and Fortress are members of the Resilient stable, which is under some scrutiny from investors, amid allegations of financial impropriety.
Gold was down 0.31% at $1,234.68/oz and platinum down 0.86% at $796.64.
Brent crude was 0.24% lower at $61.27 a barrel.