The JSE opened lower on Thursday, with the market focus squarely on international data releases expected to give signals on how long key global central banks will continue with loose monetary policy.

European stocks were lower, with the market focused on US inflation data later in the day, as well as a decision on interest rates from the Bank of England.

Disappointing data that showed industrial growth in China slowed for a second straight month in August also weighed on markets.

This indicated the world’s second-largest economy may be losing momentum in the third quarter, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

Locally, the current account deficit for the second quarter is due, with expectation that the deficit would be smaller on a quarter-by-quarter basis, with Trading Economics forecasting a figure of R87.3bn.

US inflation was always a closely watched event as investors kept looking for indications for the next possible rate hike, TreasuryOne analysts said.

The dollar had strengthened over the course of the week after the shock it received last week, and the inflation print would likely give another indication of where the greenback would trade in the short term, they said.

There is still some focus on local politics, with the Supreme Court of Appealing hearing a request to appeal a High Court decision that corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma should be reinstated.

Two days of hearings are expected, and a decision is likely only in coming weeks.

At 9.30am the JSE’s all share index was off 0.41% at 55,920.5 points and the top 40 was 0.45% lower.

The gold index had dropped 1.36%, platinum miners lost 1.17% and resources were off 1.3%.

Food and drug retailers were up 0.52%.

Diversified miners were lower, with Glencore off 1.93% to R61.88, BHP 1.94% to R240.56 and Anglo American 1.86% to R230.90.

Rand hedge Richemont had fallen 1.28% to R118.76.

Industrial group Imperial Holdings had shed 1.51% to R186.14 and Bidvest 1.37% to R161.95. Logistics group Barloworld had lost 2.15% to R120.94.

Investment holdings group Remgro had fallen 1.22% to R212.37. MTN was off 1.33% to R122.08.

Impala Platinum had dropped 2.8% to R38.25, after earlier reporting a hefty full-year loss‚ with a R10bn impairment and gross loss feeding into decisions to review assets.

Aspen was up 1.14% to R288.80‚ after earlier declaring a gross dividend of 287c per share, while reporting that normalised headline earnings per share increased 16% compared with the prior period.

By 10.05am, Grand Parade Investments had fallen 5.6% to R2.55, after earlier reporting a headline loss of 4.59c for the year to end-June, a 331% decline from the prior period. The company’s food portfolio continued to struggle as the it suffered along with South African consumers, the company said.

At the same time the FTSE 100 was flat, while the CAC 40 had lost 0.14% and the DAX 0.17%.

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