The JSE must once again contend with pressurised Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with Tencent extending its losses in the wake of increased scrutiny of tech firms by Chinese authorities as well as rising Covid-19 numbers.

Tencent, of which the Naspers stable is the largest-single shareholder, had slipped 3.72%, in early trade, with markets expected to be cautious ahead of the US Federal Reserve policy announcement later.

Naspers and Prosus have both lost more than 7% during the past two consecutive sessions, with their shares trading at more than one-year lows on Tuesday.

Investor focus will be on the Fed, however, as markets wait to see just how quickly monetary conditions will tighten as the world’s largest economy recovers and inflation accelerates.

Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said he expects more to come from the Fed’s September announcement than Wednesday’s, but added, “hey, it’s 2021".

“A few winds are blowing against a tapering statement this evening, not least the Delta variant sweeping the Asia-Pacific with an inevitable knock-on to its recovery,” he said.

In morning trade the Hang Seng was down 0.24% and the Shanghai Composite 0.54%, while Japan’s Nikkei had given back 1.42%.

Gold was up 0.34% to $1,804.97/oz while platinum had added 0.67% to $1,059.98. Brent crude was up 0.15% to $74.83 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R14.77/$.

Chemicals and explosives group AECI is due to report its results for the half year to end-June later, having said in a recent trading statement it expects headline earnings per share (HEPS) to more than double, due to the costs of restructuring in the year-earlier period, from which it is now benefiting.



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