The JSE faces mixed, and subdued, Asian markets on Wednesday, with local attention squarely on the release of the emergency budget later in the day.

SA needs to rein in a growing budget deficit in the wake of a sharp drop in tax revenue and stimulate the economy.

Key points, such as the allocation of funds to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and any feedback from finance minister Tito Mboweni on prescribed assets, will set the direction for the rand, Peregrine Treasury Solutions executive director Bianca Botes said in a note.

In morning trade, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.15% while Japan’s Nikkei had fallen 0.18%.

Tencent, which influences the JSE via its largest single shareholder, Naspers, had added 0.44%.

`Wall Street equities powered higher, led by big-tech, but Asia is likely to also has one eye on the disturbing re-emergence of Covid-19 across the world, said Oanda analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note.

Gold was flat at $1,767.85/oz while platinum was down 0.22% to $824.50. Brent crude was 0.19% higher at $42.42 a barrel.

The rand was little changed at R17.20/$.

Local inflation data for April and retail sales numbers for March are also due later.