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

The JSE faces muted Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with investors waiting for the US Federal Reserve policy announcement later in the day.

The Fed is expected to keep interest rates unchanged, but should elaborate on its recent announcement that it will adopt a more flexible approach to inflation targeting to support economic growth.

Those expecting clarity on how long the Fed will allow inflation to overshoot the 2% mark are likely to be disappointed, Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said in a note.

“In all likelihood, the Fed probably isn’t quite sure itself, and will manage that situation dynamically,” Halley said.

Global markets have been bolstered by the hope of a vaccine recently, while locally Covid-19 restrictions are expected to be eased further.

In morning trade both the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng were down 0.24%, while Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.17%.

Gold was up 0.31% to $1,959.90/oz while platinum was down 0.12% to $972.79. Brent crude was up 1.16% to $41.14 a barrel.

Tencent, which influences the JSE via Naspers, had added 0.76%.

The rand was flat at R16.40/$, having strengthened by 1.31% on Tuesday.

In corporate news, automotive group Motus Holdings is expected to report a sharp drop in profits in its year to end-June, as Covid-19 hit car sales.

Discovery is due to report a fall in profits for its year to end-June later. The company has been battling with the effects of lower interest rates in the UK.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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