Picture: 123RF/SOLAR SEVEN
Picture: 123RF/SOLAR SEVEN

The JSE faces mixed Asian markets on Monday morning, with sentiment dampened amid concerns over the prospects of a global economic rebound from Covid-19 in 2021.

Markets have been buoyed so far this year by the prospects of a return to normality as vaccines are rolled out, and hefty fiscal spending in the US, though recent economic data has indicated the ongoing pandemic is weighing heavily on economic activity.

Global markets had slipped a little after disappointing US retail sales numbers for December.

On Monday, Chinese GDP numbers for the fourth quarter beat expectations, growing 6.5% year on year, though retail sales numbers came in lower than expected, suggesting pressure on consumers.

“If the market was looking for a convincing game changer, [it] won’t find it here as there are too many holes to be poked in this data set for traders to run with it, despite the yuan marginal strengthening on the release,” said Axi chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes in a note.

In morning trade the Shanghai composite was up 0.7% and the Hang Seng 0.49%, while Japan’s Nikkei was 0.88% lower.

Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE via Naspers, had added 1.86%.

Gold was flat at $1,828.26/oz while platinum rose 1.16% to $1,081.36. Brent crude was down 3.28% to $54.55 a barrel.

The rand was 0.15% weaker at R15.24/$.

There is little on the local corporate or economic calendar on Monday, with focus on the Reserve Bank monetary policy decision on Thursday, though rates are expected to be kept on hold.

Load-shedding also continues on Monday.

US markets are closed on Monday for a public holiday, which may subdue trade.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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