Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the opening bell, January 4 2019 in New York City. Picture: DREW ANGERER
Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the opening bell, January 4 2019 in New York City. Picture: DREW ANGERER

The JSE fell in broad-based losses on Friday, taking its lead from Asian markets, even as volumes were subdued by the closure of US markets on Thursday.

There is an absence of major global data releases on Friday, with investor attention remaining on the US-China trade war. The market is waiting for a Chinese response to the US stance on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump signed a bill into law that provides for an annual review of Hong Kong’s trading relationship, an issue that may provoke intransigence from Beijing during trade talks.

While the Hong Kong bill is providing poor optics, signing the deal into law was expected, said AxiTrader chief Asian market strategist Stephen Innes in a note.

It had, however, now left investors speculating on the “resolute countermeasure” China will take, and whether it would be enough to damage trade talks, said Innes.

At 10am the all share was down 0.76% to 55,279.9 points while the top 40 had lost 0.98%. The resources index had fallen 1.25% while industrials lost 0.69%.

Gold was up 0.13% to $1,457.64/oz and platinum 0.77% to $899.33. Brent crude fell 0.32% to $63.06 a barrel.

Sasol was down 2.24% to R266.47.

Rand hedge AB InBev was down 1.34% to R575.45 and Richemont 1.02% to R111.75.

Telkom had jumped 4.65% to R47.23, having said earlier that Cell C, SA's third-largest mobile operator, had rejected its takeover bid.

Blue Label Telecoms, the largest shareholder of Cell C, was down 3.21% to R3.02.

Naspers had fallen 0.9% to R2,098.57.

Phumelela Gaming & Leisure was unchanged at R2.20, despite saying earlier it had its “worst year in its history” to end-July, battered by regulatory changes and a subdued SA economy. The company reported a headline loss of R98.2m, compared with headline earnings of R155.6m previously. This led to a headline loss per share of 98.20c, from headline earnings of 154.23c previously.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za