Picture: 123RF/BLUE BAY
Picture: 123RF/BLUE BAY

The JSE looks set to start to a torrid session for Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with markets under pressure as investors consider a deteriorating outlook for the global economy.

Oil prices have pushed to a three-year high this week, and natural gas a seven-year high, stoking fears that global central banks will tighten monetary policy to combat inflation, rather than being largely motivated by an improving economic picture.

The debt crisis of Chinese property group Evergrande, Chinese regulatory intervention, as well as US political wrangling over raising the debt ceiling, necessary to fund the government, are also major risks being watched by investors.

Rolling blackouts in China amid efforts there to curb emissions are also stoking fears about the global economic outlook, and the potential effect of supply-chain disruptions on prices.

The rand had extended losses and was trading 0.21% weaker at R15.10/$, despite higher precious metal prices and a slight easing in oil prices. The local currency has lost about 16c since Friday, and is trading at about a five-week low.

The rand had underperformed relative to emerging-market peers a bit on Tuesday, said IG senior market analyst Shaun Murison in a note, which was perhaps due to the release of SA’s second-quarter nonfarm payrolls report. 

The report showed total employment fell 0.9% quarter on quarter, although analysts have noted that the figures to end-June do not reflect the effects of violence and looting that gripped SA in July.

In morning trade, Japan’s Nikkei had given back 2.63%, on track for its worst day in about three months. The Shanghai Composite had fallen 1.81% and the Hang Seng 0.45%.

Tencent, which can give direction to the JSE via the Naspers stable, had fallen 2.72%.

Gold was up 0.35% to $1,739.42/oz while platinum had risen 0.68% to $970.24. Brent crude was 0.28% weaker at $77.90 a barrel.

The corporate calendar is sparse on Wednesday, as is the economic calendar.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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