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

The JSE faces generally subdued Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with activity muted ahead of the US Federal Reserve monetary policy announcement later.

The Fed is widely expected to remain somewhat upbeat about the prospects of the US economy when making its interest rate decision and statement on Wednesday evening, although any forward guidance on tapering asset purchase programmes will be closely watched.

President Joe Biden will also be addressing a joint sitting of Congress for the first time on Thursday, and his speech will be watched for any plans in terms of fiscal stimulus, or tax increases.

Globally, Covid-19 continues to surge in countries including India and Brazil.

In morning trade the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng were flat, while Japan’s Nikkei added 0.34%.

Gold was 0.28% weaker at $1,771.46/oz while platinum fell 0.79% to $1,220.24. Brent crude was 0.21% weaker at R66.43 a barrel.

In morning trade the rand was 0.13% weaker at R14.38/$, having slipped 0.66% on Tuesday.

Rand trading restarts on the back foot today, as a number of countries remain in Covid-19 crisis, with travel to and from India largely shut down, said Citadel Global executive director Bianca Botes in a note.

There is little on the local corporate or economic calendar on Wednesday, with the focus expected to be offshore.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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