The JSE faces mixed Asian markets on Monday morning, with sentiment fragile amid rising Covid-19 infection rates in parts of the globe, including China.

US markets and the JSE ended last week at record highs, boosted by electoral wins by the Democrats offering the prospect of larger fiscal stimulus measures in the world’s largest economy.

Markets are opening with a small wobble on Monday, said Axi chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes in a note, with Covid hotspots flaring again in Asia as 11-million people face lockdowns in China’s Hebei province.

“The omnipresence of Covid concerns continue to hang like a nasty cloud over the market and given a great deal of optimism in stocks and oil is linked to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, investors are sitting with finger and legs crosses that there won’t be any negative news flows on this front [that] would prompt a sharp negative market reaction,” Innes said.

In morning trade the Shanghai composite was down 0.23%, while the Hang Seng had risen 0.88%.

Tencent, which often gives direction to the JSE via Naspers, its largest single shareholder, was up 4.1%.

Gold was down 0.95% to $1,829.40/oz while platinum fell 2.43% to $1,035.71. Brent crude was 1.67% lower at $55.31 a barrel.

The rand was 0.72% weaker at R15.39/$.

The rand quickly lost its ability to hold onto levels below R15/$ as the local economy continues to face difficulties while the global environment has been anything but easy since the new year kicked off, said Peregrine Treasury Solutions executive director Bianca Botes in a note.


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