Picture: 123RF/PHONGPHAN
Picture: 123RF/PHONGPHAN

The JSE looks set to start to sharply higher Asian markets on Monday morning, with sentiment getting a boost after progress was made in passing a $1.9-trillion (R28.5-trillion) stimulus bill in the US.

The bill has passed in the US House of Representatives, and is now headed for the Senate, and expectations of its passing have helped underpin investor interest in equities so far in 2021.

Most global markets experienced a sharp selloff on Friday, including the JSE, which slumped almost 2%. A sharp rise in bond yields last week weighed on equity markets, with the market pricing in higher inflation as economies globally recover from Covid-19. Bond yields move inversely to bond prices.

Risk sentiment is getting a small bounce on Monday morning after the passing of the bill, said Axi chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes in a note.

Locally, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that SA has secured additional doses of the vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson (J&J), and is seeking to accelerate vaccination efforts.

Further supporting sentiment, J&J’s single-shot vaccine also received a nod from US regulators at the weekend.

In morning trade Japan’s Nikkei jumped 2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.2%.

Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE via Naspers, was up 3.85%.

Gold was up 0.58% to $1,749/oz while platinum surged 2.49% to $1,213.55. Brent crude was 2.23% lower at $65.42 a barrel.

The rand firmed 0.48% to R15.04/$.

Mustek, an assembler and distributor of information and communications technology (ICT) products, is scheduled to report a sharp rise in headline earnings per share for its six months to end-December later, though it has not revealed details in recent trading updates.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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