The JSE looks set to open to weaker Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with sentiment still fragile ahead of the US nonfarm payrolls report on Friday.

The jobs data is expected to settle whether the US Federal Reserve will begin paring back bond purchases in November, while there is heightened uncertainty in global markets over inflation and the outlook for China’s economy.

Concern over the indebtedness of Chinese property developers has also picked up this week, with Fantasia joining Evergrande in missing debt payments, which comes as that country grapples with coal shortages.

Oil cartel Opec agreed to only modest productions this week, with Brent crude hitting $83 a barrel on Tuesday, a three-year high.

The choppy week continues as markets chase their tails in a light data week ahead of nonfarm payrolls, said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note.

US and European services purchasing managers indices supported equity markets on Tuesday, with tech stocks outperforming, having come under pressure in the previous session, he said.

In morning trade the Hang Seng had fallen 0.46% and Japan’s Nikkei 1.28%.

Tencent, which influences the JSE via the Naspers stable, had slipped 0.13%.

Gold was 0.44% lower at $1,752.14/oz while platinum had fallen 1.19% to $951.54. Brent crude was flat at $82.52 a barrel.

The rand was 0.44% weaker at R15.07/$.

The domestic corporate and economic calendar is light on Wednesday, but agribusiness-focused Zeder Investments is due to release its half-year results to end-August later. The group has not issued a trading update recently, meaning that headline earnings per share (HEPS) have not moved more than 20% from the year-earlier period



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