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

Asian markets were lacking a clear direction in early trade on Wednesday morning, with markets digesting a mixed set of economic data.

The JSE closed at a record high on Tuesday, ending the session just below 69,000 points, though it did not reach its intraday record high, which was reached in March.

High commodity prices have helped support the local market recently, but this is stoking global inflation, with data earlier showing that South Korea’s inflation accelerated to a nine-year high in May.

Data earlier showed Australia’s economy returned to pre-pandemic levels, growing by a better-than-expected 1.8% in the first quarter year on year.

In morning trade, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.65% and the Hang Seng 0.5%, while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.52%.

Australia’s All Ordinaries index had risen 0.88%.

Tencent, which gives direction to the local market through the Naspers stable, was flat.

Gold was 0.17% lower at $1,896.95/oz while platinum fell 0.35% to $1,188.84. Brent crude was 0.28% lower at $70.42 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R13.74/$. Emerging-market currencies, along with their bonds, have managed to maintain their positive run recently, albeit marginally as traders weighed the growth optimism against the fear of accelerating inflation, Sasfin Wealth fixed-income trader Alvin Chawasema said in a note.

The local corporate and economic calendar is bare on Wednesday.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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