Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE opened weaker on Wednesday, as global issues weighed on market sentiment.

US President Donald Trump earlier tweeted that Mike Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), would become the US’s new secretary of state, replacing incumbent Rex Tillerson. "He will do a fantastic job!"

Trump made his announcement, dubbed "Rexit" in the media, before US markets closed, causing the Nasdaq index to fall more than 1% and the S&P 500 to fall 0.6%.

"US markets ended Tuesday’s session lower following the dismissal of the US secretary of state and on the possibility of further import tariffs against China, which could be rolled out as soon as next week," Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) analysts said.

The Dow lost 0.68% to 25,007.03 points. Asian markets were softer on Wednesday, with the Nikkei off 0.87% and the Hang Seng 1.3% lower.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s visit to London, where he addressed global investors, seemingly had less of an effect on the market than expected, despite reports that ratings agencies had given Nene a positive reception.

Moody’s is expected to announce its latest credit rating decision next week.

At 9.34am the all share was 0.81% off at 58,607.20 points and the top 40 was also down 0.81%. General retailers dropped 1.36%, industrials 1%, platinums 0.7%, the gold index 0.63%, resources 0.59%, financials 0.57% and banks 0.56%.

Sasol lost 1.94% to R404 as Brent crude slipped 0.22% to $64.61 a barrel. The rand held steady at overnight firmer levels of about R11.75/$.

KAP Industrial Holdings lost 2.22% to R8.35.

FirstRand lost 0.93% to R69.61.

Woolworths was down 2.23% to R61.35 and Massmart 2.89% to R166.54.

Liberty Two Degrees was off 3.88% to R7.69 and Hammerson 1.02% to R75. Nepi Rockcastle gained 0.67% to R126.85.

Naspers shed 1.48% to R3,527.99.