Seeking a listing: Before it can join the JSE, Nova Properties must deal with resistance from debenture holders, who allege its directors awarded themselves a hefty stake by sleight of hand. Picture: REUTERS
Seeking a listing: Before it can join the JSE, Nova Properties must deal with resistance from debenture holders, who allege its directors awarded themselves a hefty stake by sleight of hand. Picture: REUTERS

A 3.3% slump in Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index ahead of the JSE’s opening on Thursday morning pointed to a dire day for the local bourse.

Asian markets took their cue from Wall Street where the Nasdaq index closed 4.4% lower and the S&P 500 index 3.1% lower on Wednesday.

In Hong Kong, Tencent was down 3.12% to HK$267.20, but a weaker rand following a disappointing medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) may mitigate some of this loss for Tencent's 31%-owner Naspers.

The rand stabilised to about R14.56/$ on Thursday morning following its sharp weakening shortly after the government unveiled its latest budget at 2pm on Wednesday.

Image: Iress

The rand similarly weakened to trade at R16.60/€ and R18.75/£ by 6.30am on Thursday.

Image: Iress

“The budget did not offer any headline macro-fiscal consolidation — indeed it deteriorated to the surprise of ourselves and the market, with a sharp sell-off of bonds and the rand,” Intellidex analyst Peter Attard Montalto said in an e-mailed note.

“We think, like last year, the national treasury will have attempted deeper cuts, including on the wage bill and proposed other reforms but were rebuffed by cabinet.

“Importantly, it also markedly underperformed Moody’s qualitative expectations and the chances of an outlook cut are now higher though an actual cut in the rating is still hard pre-election in our view,” Attard Montalto wrote.

JSE companies diarised to release results on Thursday include Allied Electronics (Altron) and UK-focused real estate investment trust RDI.

Altron said on September 25 it that expected to report its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end-August had doubled.

“Subsequent to the restructuring of a number of core businesses, the majority of the group’s operations have had a strong performance for the half-year,” Altron said.

RDI has not issued a trading statement, indicating its earnings will not differ by more than 20% from its previous financial year.

StatsSA is scheduled to release September’s producer price index (PPI) along with August’s export and import unit value indices at 11.30am, and September’s construction materials price indices at 12pm.

Factory and farm gate inflation, as measured by the annual change in PPI, is expected to have slowed to about 6.1% in September from August’s 6.3%, according to a poll of economists done by Trading Economics.

laingr@businesslive.co.za

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