The JSE was little changed on Wednesday morning, with miners faring worst, as investors moderated their expectations of looser monetary policy in coming months.

In a speech on Tuesday night, US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell emphasised that there was a need to insulate the Fed from short-term political pressure.

Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said Powell’s speech had had little effect, noting, however, that market expectations of a 50-basis-point cut at the Fed’s July meeting had halved.

Gold was under a little pressure on Wednesday, after an impressive string of gains that sent the price of bullion to a six-year high. Gold is seen as a hedge against loose monetary policy.

Gold miners looked set to snap a four-session losing streak on Wednesday, but banks were a little firmer, in line with the rand.

At 9.20am the all share was flat at 58,379.3 points, while the top 40 was up 0.15%. Gold miners were down 2.72%, while banks had added 0.61%.

Gold was 1.1% lower at $1,407.71/oz while oil had risen 0.44% to $66.09 a barrel.

Oil has pushed higher amid tension in the Middle East, as well as data showing declining inventories in the US. Last week, Iran shot down a US drone, prompting the White House to implement new sanctions against Tehran.