Pedestrians walk past a public screen displaying the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Hang Seng Index figures in Shanghai, China. Picture: BLOOMBERG/QILAI SHEN
Pedestrians walk past a public screen displaying the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Hang Seng Index figures in Shanghai, China. Picture: BLOOMBERG/QILAI SHEN

The JSE looks set to contend with weaker Asian markets on Thursday morning, with investors forced to consider the balance of power between nations in Asia.

The US, Britain and Australia have unveiled a new security pact that would reportedly see the latter join the others in having nuclear-powered submarines.

North Korea and South Korea have also been trading missile tests, said Oanda analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note.

“The condemnations between Japan, North and South Korea are flying thick and fast today, and the escalation of the Korean Peninsula arms race is weighing on both South Korean and Japanese equity markets today and will continue to do so for the rest of the day,” he said in a note. The fallout is unlikely to last, he said.

In morning trade, the Hang Seng had given back 2%, the Shanghai Composite 0.68%, and Japan’s Nikkei 0.97%. 

Tencent, which influences the direction of the JSE via Naspers, had fallen 1.2%.

Gold was 0.14% weaker at $1,790.40/oz, while platinum had risen 0.28% to $949.70. Brent crude was 0.15% higher at $75.60 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R14.41/$, having lost about 30c since Tuesday.

SA’s biggest bank by market value, FirstRand, is due to release its results for the year ending June later, saying in a recent trading update it expects headline earnings per share to rise as much as 58%. The group has said SA’s economic recovery has been faster than expected, and writedowns lower than expected.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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