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

The JSE could benefit from firmer Asian markets and a surging gold price on Tuesday, with all eyes on the US amid hopes of further stimulus.

In the US, the Republican party has unveiled its Covid-19 stimulus plan, which includes wage relief and tax credits aimed at supporting employment, though a political battle is likely over the details. Markets are also watching for the US Federal Reserve policy statement on Wednesday.

Locally, the IMF has approved a R70bn loan for SA for Covid-19 relief, at a low rate of interest.

In morning trade the Shanghai Composite was up 0.6% and the Hang Seng 0.5%. Tencent, which influences the JSE via Naspers, jumped 4%.

Gold was up 0.15% to $1,944.84/oz, having earlier reached a high of $1,980.83.

Platinum had fallen 0.8% to $938.48 while Brent crude was flat at $43.44 a barrel.

Gold has been boosted by demand from China and concerns about inflation, said AxiCorp chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes in a note. The precious metal could break through the $2,000/oz level by the end of the week, he said.

The rand was 0.17% weaker at R16.44/$.

Global focus on Tuesday is on US-China tensions, Covid-19 numbers and US corporate earnings reports, with Stats SA due to release quarterly employment statistics for the three months to end-March.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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