Picture: 123RF/PHONGPHAN SUPPHAKANKAMJON
Picture: 123RF/PHONGPHAN SUPPHAKANKAMJON

The JSE looks set to contend with mixed Asian markets on Thursday morning, with positive US corporate earnings buoying markets there, but investors are also eyeing a possible default by Chinese property giant Evergrande.

Evergrande’s proposed $2.6bn (R37.7bn) sale of a majority stake in its property services arm has fallen through, sending its shares almost 11% lower, and reigniting concerns that the inability of it to service payments on its $300bn debt pile would have spillover effects.

The 30-day grace period after missing coupons on its dollar-denominated debt is over by the end of the week, which will put it officially in default, said National Australia Bank analyst Rodrigo Catril in a note.

US markets were positive overnight, with the Dow Jones Index closing at a record high, with sentiment there lifted by upbeat third-quarter corporate earnings reports. This includes Tesla, which has posted record profits.

In morning trade, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.46%, while the Hang Seng had fallen 0.29% and Japan’s Nikkei 0.63%.

Tencent, of which the Naspers stable is the single biggest shareholder, had slipped 0.1%.

Gold was 0.23% higher at $1,786.41/oz, while platinum had risen 0.62% to $1,056. Brent crude was 0.28% weaker at $84.99 a barrel.

The rand was 0.27% weaker at $14.43/$, but has gained about 23c since Monday.

Chemicals and energy group Sasol is due to give an update on its performance in the first quarter of its 2022 financial year later. In the three months to end-September, Sasol’s share rose more than 30%, lifting off towards the end of the period amid a global energy crunch that has buoyed oil prices.

Anglo American Platinum is due to release its third-quarter production report later, with its share price falling a fifth during the three months to end-September, when the price of platinum fell more than 10%.

Pharmacy group Clicks is due to report its results for the year to end-August later, saying in a trading update that group sales from continuing operations rose 10.3%, though civil unrest in July had hit profits. Clicks, which at its half-year results said it expected diluted growth of headline earnings per share of between 8% and 13%, guided between 0% and 3% in its September trading update.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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