Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The JSE may track a recovery in some Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng recovering from a sharp fall on Tuesday. 

Global markets had experienced a major sell-off amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus in Asia, with US officials also confirming the first case in that country overnight.

The JSE had fallen in broad-based losses on Tuesday, having its worst day in two months, but a rebound on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng on Wednesday offers the prospect of a similar domestic recovery.

In morning trade the Hang Seng was up 0.83%, with Tencent, of which Naspers is the major shareholder, up 1.3%.

The timing outbreak, though an antibody has reportedly been discovered, could not have been worse for mainland investors as the region enters a peak commerce and travel week with Chinese around the world celebrating the Lunar New Year, said AxiTrader chief Asia market strategist Stephen Innes in a note.

This means that Chinese investors may be reluctant to take risky positions ahead of the long weekend, he said.

Shanghai’s Composite was down 0.23%, but markets in Australia and Japan were positive.

Local miners may feel some pressure on Wednesday, with gold down 0.43% to $1,551.20/oz while platinum was flat at $998.60.

Brent crude was 0.2% weaker at $64.30 a barrel.

The rand had firmed 0.2% to R14.4635/$.

Local focus on Wednesday will be on inflation data for December, with the Trading Economics consensus that inflation accelerated to 4% in the month compared with November’s 3.6%, which was the lowest level in almost a decade.

The inflation figure will be closely watched after the Reserve Bank’s surprise interest rate cut in January, as the Bank has signalled another cut will take place in coming months if the trajectory of price growth remains subdued.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za