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

The JSE could benefit from firmer Asian markets on Monday morning, with sentiment still upbeat as investors bet on an improving global economic outlook.

The rapid rollout of vaccines in the US, as well as repeated assurances from officials in that country that monetary policy should remain accommodative for an extended period, helped European and US markets close at record highs last week.

Upbeat US and Chinese data last week helped support this view, though there is still concern over Covid-19, with India dealing with a spike in infections.

The rollout of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has also been temporarily paused due to blood clot concerns, including in SA, though it may resume this week.

Locally, an eye is also being kept on Eskom’s power generation capacity and load-shedding, as well as the Covid-19 infection rate, as we approach winter, said Citadel Global executive director Bianca Botes in a note.

In morning trade, the Shanghai Composite was up 1.8%, the Hang Seng 0.8%, and Japan’s Nikkei 0.19%.

Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE via the Naspers stable, gained 0.7%.

Gold was flat at $1,777.34/oz while platinum rose 0.47% to $1,206.66. Brent crude was 0.31% lower at $66.49 a barrel.

The rand was 0.21% firmer at R14.27/$.

Investor interest in riskier assets last week helped the rand reach a 15-month high against the dollar last week, with the local currency also benefiting from a weaker dollar, as investors bet on US interest rates remaining low for an extended period.

There is little on the local corporate or economic calendar on Monday, with inflation data for March due on Wednesday.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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