Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE could open higher on Wednesday morning thanks to gains by Naspers associate Tencent in Hong Kong and BHP Group in Australia.

Tencent, 31% held by JSE heavyweight Naspers, was 1.7% up after the lunch break in Hong Kong, while BHP Group was 0.8% higher in Australia.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and the Shanghai Composite were both up 0.5%, though Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was 0.4% lower after gaining ground on Tuesday.

On the JSE, a handful of small-caps are due to report financial results on Wednesday, including Tiso Blackstar Group, the owner of this publication, and Trellidor Holdings.

Tiso Blackstar Group said last week headline earnings per share from continuing operations would fall by up to 56.6% in the six months ended December.

The rand was weaker on Wednesday morning, trading 0.24% down versus the dollar at R14.45/$. Against the pound, it was 0.08% weaker at R19.06/£ and against the euro it was 0.17% weaker at R16.27/€.

The local currency is “struggling to retain momentum in either direction”, said Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.

“An uptick in the dollar coupled with a slowdown in the Asian market rally in the overnight session are both adding pressure to the local unit, with global growth concerns remaining the key theme this week,” Botes said.

Investors are awaiting the Monetary Policy Committee’s interest-rate announcement on Thursday. No change is expected.