Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE was firmer on Wednesday, in line with Asian stocks as positive Chinese economic data and reports that Hong Kong's extradition bill may be withdrawn lifted sentiment.

Growth in China's services sector expanded and exceeded market expectations, data showed on Wednesday. The Caixan services purchasing managers' index rose to a three-month high of 52.1 points.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng soared after news reports that the city's controversial extradition bill may be withdrawn. The bill has triggered massive protests in Hong Kong over the past several months.

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.93%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng 3.9% and Japan's Nikkei 225 0.12%. 

At 10.40am, the JSE all share added 0.25% to 54,878.40 points and the top 40 was up 0.3%. Industrials were 1.14% higher while gold miners were down 4.23%. 

Momentum was up 1.05% to R16.37 after it said on Wednesday that its normalised headline earnings grew 53% to R3bn in the year to end-June.

Sasfin was up 3.14% to R28.88 after it said on Wednesday that it expected its headline earnings per share to increase between 28% and 33% to between 490c and 509c in the year to end-June.

Discovery added 1.92% to R117.21 after the company said on Wednesday that its net asset value increased by R5.4bn in the year to end-June.

Libstar rose 1.55% to R7.21 after the company said on Wednesday that its normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and ammortisation increased 5.9% in the six months to end-June.

mjoo@businesslive.co.za