The JSE faces mixed Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with the Hang Seng closed for the National Day Holiday, while Covid-19 and geopolitical tension threaten sentiment.

In morning trade Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.44% while the Shanghai Composite had risen 0.9%.

A private gauge of manufacturing activity in China released earlier beat expectations, though it showed export activity remained weak.

“This may be due to anti-China sentiment or nothing more sinister than consumer uncertainty around the pandemic overseas,” AxiCorp chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes said in a note.

Gold was up 0.18% to $1,783.83/oz while platinum had fallen 0.54% to $823.49. Brent crude was flat at $41.62 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R17.34/$, showing little reaction to data released on Tuesday that showed SA’s economy contracted by 2% in the first quarter, which was better than expected.

The rand take its lead from global sentiment, Peregrine Treasury Solutions executive director Bianca Botes said in a note.

Vehicle sales numbers for June and Absa’s purchasing managers index (PMI) for the same month are scheduled for release later, while the corporate calendar is somewhat bare.

Rising Covid-19 numbers in the US, and geopolitical tension remains a threat to market sentiment, though efforts by global central banks to offset the economic effects of the pandemic are supporting markets.



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