Picture: BLOOMBERG/Andrey Rudakov
Picture: BLOOMBERG/Andrey Rudakov

The JSE tracked a strong performance by Asian markets on Wednesday morning, as investors welcomed further signs the US and China made progress in their trade talks.

Naspers led the gains, gaining 1.75% to R2,885.01 by 9.30am on Wednesday.

The all share was up 1.07% to 52,723.8 points and the top 40 1.16%. Industrials had firmed 1.27%, gold miners 2.54% and resources 1.13%.

Reports continue to emerge that mid-level talks between the US and China are bearing fruit, although analysts cautioned further high-level meetings would be required to seal any compromise on major issues.

Fears that US President Donald Trump would declare a state of emergency as a government shutdown continues also failed to materialise on Tuesday, something further adding to positive sentiment. A meeting with the opposition Democrats over federal funding has instead been scheduled for Thursday.

“Slowly but surely, the numerous headwinds that contributed to the market sell-off in the final quarter of 2018 are becoming less gale force and more strong breeze,” said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam. “There is a clear risk that conditions could deteriorate quickly but at the moment, the storm is passing and investors are seeing opportunities in the wreckage.”

Sasol added 2.15% to R440.

Diversified miner BHP was down 4.31% to R288.46.

AngloGold Ashanti added 2.92% to R176.42 and Gold Fields 2.65% to R50.28.

MTN gained 1.43% to R87.74 and Vodacom 1.08% to R131.70.

Avior Capital Markets said in a trading statement after markets closed on Tuesday that it expected headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end-October to fall by between 86% and 106% compared with the previous period.

Gold was down 0.21% to $1,282.48/oz, while platinum was up 0.22% to $823.99. Brent crude was 1.16% higher at $59.45 a barrel.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za