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

The JSE could take its lead from firmer Asian markets on Wednesday morning, as the concern about the coronavirus eases a little, and investors take heart from positive signs regarding the US economy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned of “restrictive measures” in controlling the outbreak, adding to the hope that the economic disruption from the coronavirus may ease. A slowdown in the number of new cases has also boosted sentiment.

It seems that Beijing is losing patience with allowing the economy to fall to stall speed, the worst levels in almost three decades, said Oanda analyst Edward Moya in a note.

“The [People’s Bank of China] will remain active in delivering more easing and with the [US Federal Reserve] possibly on standby, risky assets could remain attractive in the short term,” said Moya.

Fed chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday that the world’s most influential central bank was monitoring the viral outbreak, also expressing some optimism regarding the economic outlook of the US.

In morning trade on Wednesday the Shanghai composite was up 0.2% and the Hang Seng 0.7%. Tencent had added 0.8%.

Gold was flat at $1,568.03/oz while platinum had risen 0.4% to $970.89.

Brent crude was up 1.2% to $54.92 a barrel.

Locally, DRD Gold is set to give a trading update, but all eyes are likely to be on retail sales numbers for December, which come after disappointing manufacturing data for the same month on Tuesday.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za