A member of the media looks at a computer monitor at the Korea Exchange in Seoul, South Korea. Picture: BLOOMBERG/JEAN CHUNG
A member of the media looks at a computer monitor at the Korea Exchange in Seoul, South Korea. Picture: BLOOMBERG/JEAN CHUNG

The JSE could follow Asian stocks lower on Wednesday morning, as global markets shift their attention to a rate decision by the Federal Reserve and to reports that trade negotiations between the US and China are becoming more tense.

The Hang Seng Index was 0.5% lower at the lunch break, with Tencent down the same amount. The Chinese technology giant, 31% owned by Naspers, is due to report annual results and a decision on dividends on Thursday.

The main South Korean index was down 1%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was flat.

Australia’s main benchmark was 0.3% down, with JSE-heavyweight BHP Group 1% lower in that market.

The Federal Reserve is expected to keep rates on hold on Wednesday, with most analysts expecting no more than two rate hikes in 2019.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that China was pushing back against US demands in trade talks between the world’s two largest economies.

A handful of JSE-listed small caps are expected to report financial results on Wednesday, including KayDav Group and South Ocean Holdings.

After the market’s close on Tuesday, Remgro reported that its headline earnings per share in the six months ended December fell 3.3% to 752c. But the group increased its interim dividend per share by 5.4% to 215c.

The rand was slightly weaker on Wednesday morning, trading 0.1% down against the dollar at R14.51/$, marginally weaker against the pound at R19.23/£, and 0.1% down against the euro at R16.46/€.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za