Asian markets were mixed on Thursday morning, but the JSE could get a lift from a higher Tencent, as investors digest the latest US-China trade war developments and commentary from the US Federal Reserve.

The Fed cut interest rates on Wednesday evening as expected, though analysts noted it had not repeated a previous statement that it would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion”.

That can be viewed as a minor shift in the hawkish — or at least less dovish — direction, said AxiTrader senior market analyst Stephen Innes.

Reports on Wednesday also suggested that the finalisation of a recent partial US-China trade deal may be delayed.

Asian markets were mixed, with the Shanghai Composite flat and Japan’s Nikkei down 0.57% as of 6.20am SA time.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up more than 1% and Tencent, which influences the JSE, had gained 1.52%.

Gold had added 0.11% to $1,497.62/oz and platinum 0.18% to $926.73. Brent crude was 0.46% higher at $60.80 a barrel.

The rand was 0.35% firmer at R14.9637, having slumped 2.3% on Wednesday.

Local focus is on producer inflation numbers for September, while US jobless numbers are due later.

Health firm Ascendis’s share price may react to its results to end-June released after markets closed on Wednesday. The group has taken a R4.2bn impairment hit as it battles difficult SA conditions.

Building materials company Afrimat is expected to report later that headline earnings per share rose as much as 97% in its six months to end-August.


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