Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE was lower on Wednesday morning, tracking global markets as talk of an impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump pushed global equities lower.

The US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment investigation into Trump on Tuesday over allegations that he sought help from Ukrainian authorities to investigate former US vice-president Joe Biden.

“The political turmoil around Donald Trump’s official impeachment inquiry, combined to rising fears of no agreement with China in October trade talks” has led to risk-off sentiment  across global markets, London Capital Group senior market analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya said.

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite was down 1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng 1.28% and Japan's Nikkei 225 0.36%. In Europe, the FTSE 100 lost 0.87%, France's CAC 40 1.43% and Germany's DAX  1.02%. 

At 10.45am, the JSE was down 1.41% to 54,839.8 points and the top 40 lost 1.57%. Banks lost 1.57% and industrials 1.55%. 

Ecsponent said on Wednesday that it expected its headline earnings per share to decrease at least 195% to a loss of 6.6416c per share in the year to end-June. Its share price was unchanged at 14c. 

Pick n Pay  was down 0.42% to R60.94. The retailer said on Wednesday that its total debt had increased to R17bn from R1.6bn for the 53 weeks ended March 3, due to the adoption of new accounting standards. The group said the new standard had no effect on its underlying economic model, the fundamentals of the group’s performance or its revenues or cash flows.