Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The JSE could feel pressure from a 3% fall by Tencent on Thursday morning, with investors considering the prospect of an escalation in the US-China trade war over Hong Kong.

Beijing has moved to tighten security laws in the city, with US secretary of state Michael Pompeo saying on Wednesday the US could reconsider Hong Kong’s status as autonomous from China, paving the way for new tariffs. This is likely to result in retaliatory measures from Beijing.

The Hang Seng was down 1.7% in morning trade on Thursday, while Tencent, which influences the JSE via Naspers, had lost 3%.

Sentiment has been boosted, however, by the unveiling of a massive €750bn stimulus package, and Japan’s Nikkei was up 1%.

Investors have also seen the easing of lockdown restrictions in many countries.

Gold was up 0.4% to $1,715.89/oz, while platinum had risen 1.4% to $832.40. Brent crude was down 1.3% to $32.78 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R17.37/$.

Old Mutual is due to release an update on the first quarter to end-March later, while US GDP data will also be watched.