A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the US. Picture: BLOOMBERG/MICHAEL NAGLE
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the US. Picture: BLOOMBERG/MICHAEL NAGLE

The JSE faces mixed, but mostly positive, Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with Tencent bouncing back from a tough Tuesday as investors once again grappled with the threat of Chinese regulatory interventions.

Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE via Naspers’s huge stake, was up 4.93% in morning trade, having slumped 6.11% in the previous session.

This followed China’s state media referring to online games as “spiritual opium”, and follows a selling frenzy last week sparked by a crackdown on music licensing. Naspers lost almost 7% on Tuesday, losing about R100bn in value, almost equivalent to the market capitalisation of banking group Absa.

US markets were positive overnight, with the S&P 500 reaching a record high and positive corporate earnings competing with the concern about rising infection numbers due to the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

In morning trade the Hang Seng was up 1.62% and the Shanghai Composite 0.56%, while Japan’s Nikkei had given back 0.16%.

Gold was up 0.17% to $1,812.38/oz while platinum had risen 0.11% to $1,051.55. Brent crude was 0.3% higher at $73.45 a barrel.

The rand was 0.2% firmer at R14.28/$, having firmed almost 1% on Tuesday.

Locally, there is speculation that a cabinet reshuffle is imminent, which could offer the prospect of a boost for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s reform agenda, or presage further political tension for the ANC.

Insurance group Liberty Holdings is expected to report a return to profit in its six months to end-June later, as it bounces back from a tough first half of 2020 that forced it to set aside R3bn as a pandemic reserve. The insurer also recently announced that Standard Bank, which holds more than 53%, wants to take full control, and its shares have risen by almost a quarter since that announcement.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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