Picture: 123RF/SEEWHATMITCHSEE
Picture: 123RF/SEEWHATMITCHSEE

The JSE faces mostly weaker Asian markets on Friday morning, amid a somewhat muted response to US president-elect Joe Biden’s announcement of a $1.9-trillion (R29-trillion) stimulus package.

Sentiment has been lifted this week by the prospect of lavish state spending to support the US economy, but Biden may still find some political opposition to state aid, said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note.

“That may explain the neutral response by financial markets in Asia after the stimulus package details were unveiled,” said Halley.

“Talk is cheap, especially when the contents were already well telegraphed and disseminated,” he said.

Also weighing on sentiment, US jobless claims surged to an almost five month high earlier in January, underscoring the economic damage being inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In morning trade the Shanghai Composite was down 0.53% and Japan’s Nikkei 0.55%.

Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE via Naspers, had gained 0.56%.

Gold had gained 0.31% to $1,851.67/oz while platinum had lost 0.85% to $1,105.84. Brent crude was 0.39% lower at $56.18 a barrel.

The rand was 0.36% weaker at R15.11/$.

There is little on the local corporate or economic calendar on Friday.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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