The JSE was lower on Tuesday morning in line with most global markets, while focus remains on the US-China trade war.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that his country might may sign a big portion of the trade deal with China ahead of schedule.

The US Federal Reserve is set to give its monetary policy decision on Wednesday, with markets pricing in the likelihood of a 25 basis points interest-rate cut.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to propose a snap general election in the UK's parliament on Tuesday. This is after the EU granted an extension of the Brexit deadline to January 31.

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.87%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.39% while Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.47%. In Europe the FTSE 100 was down 0.37%, France's CAC 40 0.11% and Germany's DAX 0.14%. 

At 11.15am, the JSE was down 0.57% to 55,444.4 points and the top 40 0.6%. Industrials were down 0.87% and gold miners 2.12%. 

Octodec was up 1.4% to R15.91, The real estate investment company said on Tuesday that  its headline earnings per share fell 27.9% to 161c in the year to end-August.

Aspen was down 2.59% to R103.90. The drugmaker has written down the value of a heartburn medicine its sells mainly in Australia, Zantac, by R719m after it was recalled due to possible cancer risks.