Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE faces generally subdued Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with sentiment under some strain amid stimulus concerns, but with all eyes on the US Federal Reserve monetary policy announcement later.

Comments from US lawmakers about the timing of a new Covid-19 stimulus package have injected some concern in the market.

There has been the “first glimmer of reality that President Joe Biden’s stimulus package won’t be rubber-stamped meekly through the US Senate,” said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note, adding that focus now turns to the Fed.

Given that stimulus expectations have been pared back, the Fed’s messaging about when it may start reducing its stimulus will be closely watched.

Earlier, data showed Chinese industrial profits rose more than expected in December, but in morning trade the Shanghai Composite was flat, while the Hang Seng was up 0.21%. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index was down 0.7%.

Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE via Naspers, had lost 0.21%.

Gold had fallen 0.26% to $1,845.50/oz while platinum gave back 1.21% to $1,090.13. Brent crude was little changed at $56.11 a barrel.

The rand was 0.21% weaker at R15.07/$, having firmed 1% on Tuesday.

The rand has benefited from a more optimistic outlook from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said Peregrine Treasury Solutions executive director Bianca Botes in a note. The IMF on Tuesday raised its outlook for global growth in 2021 to 5.5%, up 0.3 percentage points from its previous forecast.

There is little on the local corporate calendar on Wednesday,  

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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