Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS
Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS

The JSE was higher on Tuesday morning, with a firmer rand helping to support banks and retailers, even as investors parsed conflicting global risk signals.

Comments from US President Donald Trump that he expected to levy additional tariffs on China has soured the mood on global markets, with investors waiting for a meeting between Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at a Group of 20 (G20) summit later this week.

The week had started off slightly positively, with markets welcoming a draft Brexit deal at the weekend and signs the Italian government was willing to climb down on its demands to increase its budget deficit.

Markets were also digesting comments from Trump that the US-China trade agreement was at risk, should that country not acceded to US demands on dealing with migrants, said Oanda analyst Stephen Innes. “Timing is everything when it comes to President Trump, and while his tariff comments are probably a case of holding cards close to his chest while keeping the pressure on China, when taken in context with all the other noise, markets have quickly gone from good to bad.”

Local focus is on business confidence data at 10am, with the week busy in terms of economic data.

At 9.37am the all share was up 0.55% to 51,975.8 points and the top 40 had added 0.58%. Industrials rose 0.61% and banks and financials were both up 0.59%.

Gold was down 0.15% to $1,220.31/oz and platinum fell 0.11% to $842.20.

Brent crude was 0.28% lower at $60.33 a barrel.

Naspers was up 1.71% to R2,870.50.

Nampak fell 1.16% to R15.37, after earlier reporting group revenue fell 1% to R17.3bn in the year to end-September, although profit rose 19% to R1.5bn and headline earnings per share 15% to 168.7c.

Rand hedge AB InBev added 0.23% to R1,061.99.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za