The JSE faces mixed Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with gold above $2,000/oz as investors consider US-China tension and the Covid-19 pandemic.

US and Chinese officials are due to meet on August 15 to discuss trade issues, while attention is also on a political battle over another round of stimulus in the US.

Escalating trade tension between the US and China could open a can of worms, said AxiCorp chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes in a note. “The market’s primary thesis on what ultimately matters for growth assets is whether a US-China geopolitical escalation morphs into an economic dust-up,” he said.

In morning trade the Shanghai Composite was up 0.29% while the Australian All Ordinaries index was down 0.37%.

Tencent had risen 1.73% in Hong Kong, and could give direction to Naspers, its largest single shareholder.

Gold was flat at $2,018.70/oz while platinum had lost 0.4% to $935.71. Brent crude was up 0.11% to $44.36 a barrel.

The rand was 0.4% firmer at R17.30/$, on track to snap a six-session losing streak. The local currency has lost more than 1% against the greenback for the past four sessions.

Paper and plastics packaging group Mpact is due to release its interim results to end-June later, and is expected to report a sharp drop in profits amid electricity disruptions and Covid-19.


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