Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI/SUNDAY TIMES
Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI/SUNDAY TIMES

The JSE could take its lead from weaker Asian markets on Wednesday morning as the market remains fixated on the prospect of an escalation in the conflict between the US and Iran.

Iran has reportedly fired ballistic missiles from its territory, targeting US military bases in Iraq. This follows the killing of a senior military commander last week.

US President Donald Trump said the damage from the attacks was being assessed and that a statement would be issued later on Wednesday.

Asian markets were lower, with the Shanghai Composite falling 0.57% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.78%.

Tencent was 0.57% lower, and could give direction to Naspers, which holds just under a third of the WeChat owner.

Local gold miners may benefit from a higher precious metal price, with gold up 1.07% to $1,590.37/oz, a six-year high.

Platinum was up 0.43% to $972.43/oz, while Brent Crude rose 1.21% to $69.17 a barrel.

The rand was 0.13% weaker at R14.30/$.

Locally, foreign exchange data for December is due later in the day, though the focus is likely to remain on the conflict in the Middle East.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za