Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The JSE must contend with a torrid session for Asian markets on Monday morning, but the rand was flat after suffering its worst day in nine months against the dollar on Friday.

The US Federal Reserve surprised markets last week by bringing forward its timetable on interest rate hikes by a year last week, also warning inflation could be more persistent than expected.

This boosted the dollar, and pressured commodity prices, with the rand falling 2.08% to R14.389/$ on Friday, though it was little changed in morning trade on Monday.

The strength of the US currency could be a key trading theme in the week ahead, with a number of officials, including Fed chair Jerome Powell, scheduled to give addresses that may provide further details on what the bank is thinking.

Japan’s Nikkei slumped 3.41% on Monday morning, on track for its worst day since February. The Hang Seng lost 1.35% and the Shanghai composite 0.22%.

Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE via the Naspers stable, lost 2.24%.

Gold was 0.59% higher at $1,774.10/oz while platinum fell 0.24% to $1,034.04. Brent crude was 0.81% higher at $73.84.

Naspers is due to release its results for the year to end-March later, saying in a recent trading update that headline earnings per share (heps) is expected to rise as much as 95.7%, driven by an improved contribution from its e-commerce division and Tencent.

Cementmaker PPC is due to release its results for the year to end-March later, saying in a recent update core profit from continuing operations is expected to rise as much as 18%.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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