Picture: 123RF/BLUE BAY
Picture: 123RF/BLUE BAY

The JSE was higher on Tuesday morning, with retailers and Naspers faring best, as the US-China trade war continued to steal investor focus.

US President Donald Trump is expected to give a speech in New York later, which is widely expected to set the tone for the next stage of the trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.

Trump had said on Friday that he had not agreed to roll back tariffs on China, which prompted a sharp sell off of risk assets. Those had been boosted last week by hopes the two sides were closing in on formalising a partial deal reached in October.

Locally, load-shedding is not expected on Tuesday, although Eskom warned that the national grid remained under pressure and that that could change at short notice.

At 9.07am the JSE was up 0.72% to 56,581 points and the top 40 0.86%. Food and drug retailers had gained 1.27%, general retailers 1.05% and industrials 1%. Gold miners were down 0.94%.

Gold was down 0.23% to $1,452.20/oz while platinum was up 0.48% to $879.24/oz. Brent crude was 0.22% higher at $62.39 a barrel.  

Telkom was unchanged at R62, having earlier said that headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end-September fell 40.7% to 194.3c, partly due to its ramping up spending on its mobile offering. A trading statement warning of the fall in HEPS earlier in November had prompted a 7.46% fall in the company's share price.

Naspers was up 1.77% to R2,169.49 and Prosus 1.35% to R1,034.

Tencent was up 2.11% in Hong Kong. The Chinese media giant, of which Naspers is the largest shareholder, is due to report third-quarter results on Wednesday. Its online music business reported after markets closed on Monday that paying users jumped 42.2% year on year in its third quarter to end-September, with operating profit rising 11.9%.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za