JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

The JSE pushed higher on Monday morning, led by Naspers, as markets digested a spate of news out of Asia.

Chinese GDP earlier underscored the damaging nature of the US-China trade war, with economic growth slipping to an almost three-decade low. Reports, however, suggested that China had come up with a plan to eliminate its trade deficit with the US.

There were also reports that discussions on intellectual property had stalled, and confusing headlines had become synonymous with the issue, London Capital Group analyst Jasper Lawler said.

“The fluid nature of these trade talk developments means that the tone can switch from one end of the scale to the other extremely quickly, creating volatility in the markets,” he said.

Markets are also watching for Brexit developments, with UK Prime Minister Theresa May expected to release a plan B after her draft deal was overwhelmingly rejected by British MPs last week.

At 10am the all share was up 0.56% at 54,033 points and the top 40 has risen 0.65%. Industrials were up 0.95%, food and drug retailers 0.89% and general retailers 0.78%. Gold miners were down 0.98%.

Local events this week include consumer inflation data on Wednesday.

Rand hedges were the best-performing stocks on Monday, although some analysts warned the rand looked somewhat over bought, after a strong showing against the dollar in January. The local currency has gained 3.3% against the dollar so far this month, and at 10am was at R13.8799/$.

British American Tobacco added 2.3% to R459.07, Richemont 1.78% to R96.21 and AB InBev 1.35% to R1,023.63.

Naspers rose 1.19% to R3,099.

Gold was up 0.14% at $1,282.47/oz while platinum was 0.16% lower at $798.09. Brent crude was flat at $62.50 a barrel.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za