Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE faces subdued Asian markets on Friday morning, with concerns about US inflation still putting pressure on equity markets. 

US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell made comments overnight that he viewed the rising inflation in the US as transitory, and the Fed is focused on jobs numbers.

“A massive dose of stimulus thrown onto a recovering US economy will likely result in another spike in yields, with oil’s epic rally overnight fanning the inflationary fire from now on,” said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note.

Oil cartel Opec had surprised the market on Thursday night by keeping production cuts intact for another month.

Focus on Friday is on China’s National People’s Congress, which is being closely watched for news regarding economic plans for the world’s second-largest economy.

US nonfarm payrolls data later will also be closely watched.

In morning trade the Hang Seng was down 0.28% and the  Shanghai Composite 0.34%.

Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE via Naspers, was down 0.14%.

Gold was down 0.31% to $1,691.79/oz while platinum had given up 0.56% to $1,120.65/oz. Brent crude was 0.46% higher at $67.43 a barrel, having rocketed 5% on Thursday.

The rand was 0.13% weaker at R15.31/$, at a more than one-month low against the dollar, and having lost 1.42% on Thursday.

Packaging group Mpact is expected to report the failure of a municipal substation weighed on its operating profits in its year to end-December later, though cash generation was strong, and the group cut its net debt.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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