Picture: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID
Picture:  REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

The JSE slipped in broad-based losses on Wednesday morning, as positive US corporate earnings reports failed to spark risk-on global trade.

Concerns that the Chinese government might pare stimulus measures was weighing on stocks. The dollar was benefiting from both interest in safe-haven assets, as well as from healthy reports from major US companies.

Diversified miners and retailers were under the most pressure, with the former reacting to the oil price easing off a six-month high reached on Tuesday. A firmer dollar environment generally puts pressure on miners, as it makes commodities more expensive for those buying in other currencies.

Local news was also downbeat, with the FNB/Bureau of Economic Research business confidence index showing that conditions were gloomy in the first quarter of 2019. The index fell to two points from seven points in the prior quarter.

Load-shedding, tax increases, fuel price increases and prolonged strikes in some sectors all weighed on confidence, FNB chief economist Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya said.

At 10.05am the all share was down 0.46% to 59,272.6 points and the top 40 0.44%. Food and drug retailers gave up 1.41%, resources 1.19% and banks 0.66%.

Gold was flat at $1,272.14/oz while platinum had firmed 0.32% to $890.97. Brent crude was 0.4% lower at $74.10 a barrel.

Diversified miner Glencore lost 3.18% to R60.30 and Anglo American 2.31% to R390.47.

Sasol gave back 1.43% to R480.54, having surged 4.21% on Tuesday.

Rand hedge AB InBev was down 1.16% to R1,275.

Standard Bank was 0.97% lower at R197.56, having reported earlier that earnings attributable to ordinary shareholders were 8% higher in the three months to end-March than in the comparative period.

Shoprite was down 2.59% to R173.76.

EPP was down 1.84% to R18.65. It said earlier that it planned to raise R1.2bn through a share issuance in order to allow financial inflows from a “significant new investor” that would purchase the bulk of the new shares.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za