Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE opened slightly higher on Monday morning, with global markets keeping a watchful eye on the escalating US-China trade conflict, after the two economic superpowers failed to reach a trade deal on Friday. 

The game of brinkmanship between China and the US has put pressure on Asian markets, which opened lower on Monday, as the US holds its stance on imposing more tariffs on Chinese imports. 

"We are right where we want to be with China. Remember, they broke the deal with us and tried to renegotiate. We will be taking in tens of billions of dollars in tariffs from China. Buyers of product can make it themselves in the US (ideal), or buy it from nontariffed countries …” US President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday. 

The Shanghai composite fell 1.21% on Monday morning and the Japanese Nikkei 225 was down 0.72%. Hong Kong markets are closed for a public holiday. 

The all share was up 0.32% to 56,959.7 points at 10.01am. The top 40 rose 0.3% Platinum miners added 0.83%, financial 0.39% and the property index up 0.25% and general retailers 1.21%. 

Astral Foods gained 4.67% to R195.88. It earlier reported a decline in headline earnings for the six-month period ended in March of 52%.

Vodacom was up 1.64% to R113.15. The mobile operator said earlier that its annual profit after tax was 0.8% lower for their year ended March, at R15.4bn. Its international business grew earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (ebitda) by 26.8%. 

Netcare reported that  profit after taxation decreased 7.9% to R1.115bn in the six-month period ended March, from R1.211bn in the previous year. Netcare was 1.38% down to R22.92. 

The election outcome, which met analyst and investor expectations as the ANC secured 57.5% of the national vote, was well received by the market. Investors will be watching President Cyril Ramaphosa's next steps to try to push anticipated economic reform. 

“In short, the outcome brings policy certainty back into the market which, coupled with the notion that no coalition government will be formed, will inject some positivity for the rand, which could help the rand look to break lower and maybe test the R14/$ level,” senior currency dealer at TreasuryONE Andre Botha said. 

The rand was 0.89% weaker at R14.2917 at 10.01am.  

mjoo@businesslive.co.za