Picture: 123RF/PHONGPHAN
Picture: 123RF/PHONGPHAN

The JSE could take its lead from firmer Asian markets on Tuesday, after a positive performance by Wall Street overnight and as investors consider possible Chinese stimulus measures.

For the People’s Bank of China, the most critical task at hand is to step up the support for the domestic economy to cushion the blow from the coronavirus outbreak, said AxiCorp chief market strategist Stephen Innes in a note.

Having already cut central bank lending rates, there is some expectation that further measures to inject liquidity will take place later this week, said Innes.

Markets remain fixated on the potential economic damage from the coronavirus, amid travel restrictions for millions of Chinese people, a measure that has shuttered factories and resulted in concern over disruptions to global supply chains.

In morning trade on Tuesday the Shanghai Composite was up 0.33%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng had added 1.25%.

Tencent was up 1.65% in trade in Hong Kong. Market heavyweight Naspers owns 31.2% of the Chinese tech giant.

Gold had given back 0.2% to $1,568.40/oz, while platinum had risen 0.7% to $961.15. Brent crude had risen 1.09% to $53.94 a barrel.

The rand was 0.14% firmer at R14.94320/$.

Locally, manufacturing data for December and fourth-quarter unemployment numbers are due later. Manufacturing is expected to fall by an annualised 4% in the last month of 2019, when energy-intensive sectors were battered by load-shedding.

Harmony Gold is expected to give an update on its second-quarter later.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za