The JSE faces mostly firmer Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with attention still on US stimulus talks and Covid-19 news.

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday that she was optimistic that a deal could be reached; the US national election is less than two weeks away.

Vaccine news also added to the positive tone at the open, with Moderna saying its vaccine could be available for emergency use in December, while AstraZeneca’s US phase 3 trial could resume this week, National Australia Bank analyst Tapas Strickland said in a note.

The Shanghai Composite was down 0.35% while the Hang Seng had risen 0.7%.

Tencent, which influences the JSE via Naspers, was little changed.

Gold was up 0.65% to $1,918.64/oz, while platinum had risen 0.81% to $883.14. Brent crude was 0.37% higher at $43.92 a barrel.

The rand was a little firmer at R16.43/$.

Brian Joffe’s Long4Life is scheduled to release its results for the six months to end-August later; the Covid-19 pandemic has put pressure on profits across its divisions. 


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