JSE opens higher as Asian markets recover

The JSE opened higher on Tuesday as stock markets recovered slightly, following heavy losses in the prior session owing to US-China trade tension.

Bloomberg reported earlier that China’s top trade negotiator would visit the US this week for trade talks, easing fears that discussions could be abandoned after US President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%, as trade talks were progressing “too slowly”.

On Tuesday, the US’s top negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, confirmed that the Trump administration would increase tariffs on Chinese imports on Friday, accusing China of not fulfilling its commitments to the talks, Bloomberg reported.

The Shanghai Composite index, which lost 5.6% on Monday, was 0.7% up and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.5%. 

The JSE’s all share index was 0.31% up at 58,896.2 points at 10am and the top 40 rose 0.39%.

Banks climbed 0.31%, industrials 0.09%, and resources 1.06%.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, was down 1.57% at R1,255.37 after missing earnings expectations for the first quarter. Group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) increased 8.2% in the quarter, which missed analysts’ forecasts. According to Bloomberg data, analysts had expected 8.6% growth in ebitda.

BHP added 1.59% to R338.72 and Anglo American 0.95% to R372.97. Kumba Iron Ore was up 1.69% at R449.46.

Shares in tailings retreatment specialist DRDGold were up 5.43% to R2.91. The company said earlier it lifted production in the March quarter and lowered its all-in costs. Gold output for the March quarter grew 15% to 41,120oz, or 1,279kg.

Steinhoff, which is due to publish its long-delayed 2017 financial results on Tuesday, was 5.53% higher at R2.10. 

Gold was up 0.14% to $1,282.24/oz, platinum added 0.44% to $881.08 while Brent crude slipped 1.03% to $70.76 a barrel. 

The rand was slightly weaker ahead of SA’s national elections on Wednesday and a business confidence index report due late Tuesday morning.

Vestact analysts said the business confidence reading was expected “to be on the low end”.

“You feel that the figure is a nonevent though given the election tomorrow,” the money manager said.

The rand was at R14.46/$, R18.94/£ and R16.20/€.

[email protected]

Source: businesslive.co.za