Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

The JSE was little changed on Friday morning, as a sharp drop from Sasol offset broad-based, but marginal gains.

The petro-chemical company expects headline earnings per share for the six months to end-December to rise by about a third compared to the prior period, but this seemingly disappointed the market.

At 10.05am Sasol was down 5.34% to R389.55.

At the same time the all share was almost unchanged at 53,866.6 points while the top 40 had fallen 0.15%. The resources index had lost 1.44%, while platinums were up 1.55% and gold miners 1.44%.

Gobal sentiment was risk-off, with trade war concerns weighing on sentiment. US President Donald said on Thursday that he would probably not meet Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before a trade truce expires on March 1.

Local focus was on the state of the nation address on Thursday night, with analysts welcoming various assurances from President Cyril Ramaphosa on the future of state-owned enterprises and corruption.

Harmony Gold had risen 1.03% to R29.30, having reported a 34% growth in production for the six months to end-December.

Lonmin was up 0.28% to R10.90, having earlier reported that mining production fell 7% in its quarter to end-December.

Impala Platinum had added 1.97% to R44.46 and Northam 1.82% to R50.31.

Naspers was up 0.84% to R3,064.62.

Gold was flat at $1,309.39/oz, while platinum had fallen 0.41% to $795.15. Brent crude was 0.45% lower at $61.32 a barrel.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za