JSE. Picture: REUTERS
JSE. Picture: REUTERS

The JSE was little changed on Friday morning, with a deterioration in precious-metal counters offsetting gains on other indices.

Global sentiment has been boosted by comments from US White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who said on Thursday the US and China were down to the final steps of agreeing on a “phase one” trade deal.

Trade-related headlines continue to move global markets on a daily basis, but it now seemed loose ends in the US-China deal are being tied up, Rand Merchant Bank analyst Siobhan Redford said.

The price of gold and platinum fell, however. Gold is seen as a safe-haven asset, which underperforms when investors are interested in riskier assets. A firmer rand on Friday was not helping matters, as gold miners sell their product in dollars.

At 9.15am the JSE was little changed at 56,257.7 points, although the top 40 had added 0.11%.

Gold miners had lost 1.57% and platinums 1.43%.

Gold was down 0.44% to $1,464.53/oz while platinum had slipped 0.27% to $878.37/oz. Brent crude was 0.14% higher at $62.40 a barrel.

The rand had firmed 0.31% to R14.772/$.

Pepkor was down 1.6% to R17.27. It said earlier it had suffered write-downs of R1.2bn due to a contraction in the building market in SA.

Accelerate Property fund was up 3.17% to R1.95. It said earlier it had reached a deal to sell an Edcon warehouse for R94m, as it pursues about R2.5bn in disposals of noncore assets.

Oceana Group was unchanged at R62.76. It said earlier that group revenue was flat at R7.64bn in its year to end-September, having experienced bad weather in both the US and SA during the period.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za