JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

The JSE looks set to continue to battle with US-China trade war uncertainty on Tuesday morning, amid conflicting messages regarding the progress made during recent negotiations.

Reports have suggested the Chinese want further talks before signing a partial deal announced on Friday, that has seen US tariffs against that country suspended, while China has agreed to import more agricultural products.

Enthusiasm waned and trade friction has spread to technology and financial sectors in the past few months, said AxiTrader senior market analyst Stephen Innes in a note.

This has suggested that the US administration’s attitude towards China does not appear to have improved, he said, though comments by US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin that the parties had reached agreement on several “fundamental issues” boosted sentiment overnight.

At 6.15am Asian markets were subdued, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.53%.

Tencent was down 0.61% in Hong Kong, which is likely to influence Naspers and Prosus. Diversified miner BHP fell 1.3% on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Data earlier showed that Chinese consumer inflation rose to a six-year high in September, partially as a result of rising pork prices. Food prices surged 11.2% in September, the strongest pace in almost eight years, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

International focus also remains on Brexit, with the deadline for the UK leaving the EU two weeks away.

Gold and platinum were flat at $1,494.17/oz and $893.34 respectively. Brent crude was 0.52% lower at $58.88 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R14.8231/$, having weakened 0.37% on Monday.

International focus is on UK employment data, as well as speeches by US Federal Reserve policymakers later.

Locally, embattled technology group EOH is expected to report that its headline loss per share widened in its year to end-July, partially as a result of R1.2bn irregular payments at one of its subsidiaries. The company has said the investigation into the payments is almost complete, and that it is likely to press criminal charges against some of its employees.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za