JSE. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
JSE. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The JSE could be boosted by slightly improved risk sentiment on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump sought to reassure markets that a trade dispute with China could still be resolved.

An expected post-election rally of SA’s main bourse has so far failed to materialise this week after trade talks between the world’s two largest economies broke down, denting investor appetite for risk.

China retaliated to higher tariffs on exports to the US, sparking concerns about global economic growth.

But the S&P 500 Index gained 0.8% overnight after Trump said the US was still in talks with China and “I think it’s going to turn out extremely well”.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was 0.7% up on Wednesday, while the Shanghai Composite added 1.1%. Stocks rose in Japan, Korea and Australia.

Chinese technology and gaming giant Tencent rallied 1.2% in Hong Kong ahead of an earnings report, suggesting a positive start for major shareholder and JSE-heavyweight Naspers.

BHP Group was 1.8% up in Australia.

On the JSE, Spar Group is due to release financial results for the six months to end-March.

Brian Joffe’s Long4Life is scheduled to report results for the year ended February. The group said recently headline earnings per share in the year rose 22% to 32%.

Tharisa and Transaction Capital’s interim results are due, while Balwin Properties is expected to release its results for the year to February. The property developer has warned that headline earnings per share fell by between 5.35% and 9.99%.

Santova will also publish results for the year ended February. It has warned that headline earnings per share fell between 12% and 17%.

Meanwhile, Statistics SA will release retail sales figures for March.

Retail sales growth is expected to have slowed to 0.8% year on year from 1.1% in February and 1.2% in January, according to Investec, which said last week “the sector could detract from first-quarter GDP”.

The US is also due to publish retail sales data on Wednesday and the EU will publish GDP figures.

The rand was flat on Wednesday morning at R14.24/$, R18.39/£ and R15.96/€.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za