The JSE was lower on Monday morning, tracking global markets as investors rushed to safe-haven assets amid global political uncertainties.

Asian markets were lower as protesters clashed with police in Hong Kong at the weekend with the pro-democracy protests nearing their fourth month.

Oil prices were boosted by news that the US will deploy more troops to Saudi Arabia after a drone attack on Saudi’s oil facilities last week knocked out more than half of the country’s production abilities. The US has said that it aims to avoid a war with Iran after blaming the latter for the attack. 

The US and China said their latest talks have been constructive. The two economic superpowers resumed talks late last week ahead of high-level talks in October. 

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.98% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.81%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was closed for Autumnal Equinox Day. In Europe, the FTSE 100 was down 0.8%, France’s CAC 40 1.18%, and Germany’s DAX 30 1.62%. 

At 11.15am, the JSE all share was down 1.35% to 55,642.90 points and the top 40 1.52%. Banks lost 0.88% and industrials 1.3%. 

Brait jumped 6.17% to R16.86 after the investment company said on Monday that it plans to cut its debt, possibly through asset sales, raising equity and recapitalisation.