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

The JSE faces mixed Asian markets on Thursday morning, with mainland Chinese stocks higher after a return from the extended lunar new year break, while US markets were subdued overnight.

Attention has been on falling bond prices as investors consider the prospect of rising inflation in the US, though analysts said with multiple different themes in the market, movements were confusing. There has also been focus on the pace of vaccine rollouts globally.

Inclement weather in the US has hit oil production there, though Saudi Arabia has announced production cuts.

Focus on Thursday now turns to economic data later, with US jobless numbers out, as well as figures for eurozone consumer confidence.

In morning trade, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.39%, while the Hang Seng had lost 1.16% and Japan’s Nikkei  0.36%.

Tencent, which influences the JSE through the Naspers stable, had risen 0.33%.

Gold was 0.39% higher at $1,739.71/oz, while platinum had firmed 1.72% to $1,275.21. Brent crude was 0.35% higher at $65.10 a barrel.

The rand was 0.21% weaker at R14.66/$.

Gold Fields is scheduled to release its results for the year to end-December later, saying in a recent trading update it expects headline earnings per share (heps) to quadruple as it benefited from slightly higher production and record precious metal prices.

Sibanye-Stillwater, the world’s largest source of platinum group metals, is due to report its results for the year to end-December later, saying in a recent update profits had rocketed in 2020, driven by higher metal prices and a weaker rand. Heps is expected to be about 55 times higher than the previous year.

Fashion group Truworths is scheduled to report that its half-year heps fell 4%-9% to end-December, saying in a recent update trading remained subdued in the period due to the effects of Covid-19.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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