Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

SA’s main stock exchange will likely open mixed on Monday as trade tensions between the US and other major economies sap investor appetite for risk.

On the back of a protracted trade dispute between the US and China, US President Donald Trump said last week the world’s largest economy would impose tariffs on neighbouring Mexico over its failure to halt illegal border crossings.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.4% down on Monday, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.5%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 1.2%, and Australia’s main benchmark fell 1.1%. Korea’s Kospi bucked the trend, gaining 1%.

Chinese internet and gaming giant Tencent was 1.2% up in Hong Kong, suggesting a strong opening for major shareholder and JSE-heavyweight Naspers.

JSE-listed BHP Group plunged 2.5% in Australia.

Consolidated Infrastructure Group is due to publish half-year results on Monday. The company has warned that its interim losses will widen by up to a third.

Delta Property Fund is due to report full-year financial results, as is Sirius Real Estate.

The rand, which fell victim to a sell-off in emerging-market currencies last week, was slightly stronger on Monday morning. The local currency was at R14.56/$, R18.40/£, and R16.27/€.

“The rand has managed to regain some ground on hopes of a positive outcome from trade talks set to take place between the US and its trade partners on Monday,” said Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.

Manufacturing data and vehicles sales numbers are due in SA and the US on Monday. 

“We expect the rand’s volatility to remain,” Botes said. The currency is likely to trade in the range of R14.48 to R14.72 to the dollar on Monday, she said.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za