Picture: 123RF/SEEWHATMITCHSEE
Picture: 123RF/SEEWHATMITCHSEE

The JSE must again contend with a lack of clear direction for Asian markets on Wednesday morning amid uncertainty over inflation, despite optimism over the globe’s economic prospects.

“Hurry up and wait best sums up the overnight session as the Street treads water while remaining laser-focused on tomorrow night’s US CPI [consumer price index] data,” Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said in a note.

Focus is also in the US in terms of plans for huge infrastructure spending, with the White House calling off talks with a group of key Republican senators without a deal on Tuesday. The administration is now expected to push to get its bill through Congress with a procedure that requires only a simple majority, rather than two thirds approval from legislators.

Data earlier showed Chinese producer inflation was higher than expected in May — amid surging raw material costs — though consumer inflation for the same month came in less than forecast, with a 1.3% rise year on year.

In morning trade the Shanghai Composite was up 0.4%, while Japan’s Nikkei had lost 0.32% and the Hang Seng remained flat.

Tencent, which gives direction to the local bourse via the Naspers stable, had gained 0.17%.

Gold was little changed at $1,893.50/oz while platinum added 0.29% to $1,163.36. Brent crude was 0.71% higher at $72.58 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R13.57/$, having failed to materially benefit from SA’s better-than-expected, first-quarter GDP numbers on Tuesday. Analysts attributed this to the global environment, which is putting local developments on the back burner.

Stage 2 load-shedding is also set to continue for the rest of the week and at the weekend.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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