JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

The JSE must contend with mixed Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng down sharply as traders returned from the Lunar New Year holiday.

Japan's Nikkei, which has been open all this week, was up 0.7% in early trade, however, and US markets had staged a recovery overnight. Stocks were led higher by Apple, which posted better than expected first-quarter sales. In morning trade the Hang Seng was down 2.75%, but Tencent, which influences the JSE via major shareholder Naspers, was up 0.5%.

Gold was down 0.16% to $1,564.13/oz while platinum was up 0.67% to $990.10. Brent crude was up 0.5% to $60.34 a barrel. Coronavirus concerns were easing, while data had also showed a drop in US inventory levels, said Oanda analyst Edward Moya in a note.

The rand was little changed at R14.533/$.

There are no major local economic or corporate releases scheduled for Wednesday. The global focus remains on the coronavirus update, although the US Federal Reserve interest rate announcement will also be closely watched.

Analysts said while no change in rates is expected, the tone of the bank will be scrutinised, particularly for any change in the US economic outlook, and for any comments on the economic effects of the coronavirus.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za