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

The JSE faces sharply weaker Asian markets on Monday morning, with global attention still on a rise in US Covid-19 cases.

Infections in the US have surpassed 2.5-million, threatening to derail a recovery in the world’s largest economy.

Asian markets are weaker as Chinese markets reopen after a two-day break last week.

Sentiment is finding support from Chinese industrial data at the weekend showing an improvement in activity in May, said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note. Tensions in Hong Kong will be high this week, with Beijing set to release the final version of a new security bill.

In morning trade Japan’s Nikkei was down 1.9%, the Hang Seng 1.3% and the Shanghai Composite 0.7%.

Gold was up 0.17% to $1,773.96 an ounce while platinum had risen 1.25% to $808.87. Brent crude was down 1.03% to $40.26 a barrel.

The rand was 0.53% weaker at R17.30 a dollar.

Tencent was down 0.37%, and could give direction to Naspers, which is due to release its results for its year to end-March later today. Africa’s largest company by market capitalisation is expected to report a decline in earnings, as Covid-19 batters the global economy.

Local focus this week is on first-quarter GDP numbers on Tuesday, and a sharp contraction is expected.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za