The JSE fell in broad-based losses on Wednesday morning, led by banks and retailers, as a weaker rand and gloomy local outlook took its toll.

The rand weakened to near R14.50/$ overnight, weighed down by warnings that Eskom may need to escalate its load-shedding.

Banks had fallen 2.59% on Tuesday, the second-worst daily performance by that index so far this year.

At 10am the all share was down 0.48% to 56,575.3 points and the top 40 0.53%. Banks lost 1.27% and food and drug retailers 0.96%.

Gold was down 0.19% to $1,303.98/oz while platinum was up 0.74% to $856.95. Brent crude was up 0.18% to $67.70 a barrel.

Global focus is on the US Federal Reserve, which is set to announce its latest stance on monetary policy after local markets close.

Some focus is also on Brexit, as UK Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to meet EU leaders on Thursday in a bid to wrangle an extension of the Brexit deadline, now only 10 days away.

Diversified miner BHP was down 1.71% to R333.88 and Anglo American 1.36% to R376.32.

Sibanye-Stillwater was down 1.45% to R16.32, paring Tuesday’s 8.45% rise, which followed news that a four-month strike at its gold operations by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) may be nearing a resolution.

Absa was down 1.87% to R157.49 and Standard Bank 1.2% to R186.43.