Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS
Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS

The JSE could pause for breath on Tuesday, after a relief rally that left the all-share index above the psychological of 70,000-points, which is near record highs.

The rand, meanwhile, was little changed at R16.12/$, but was poised for its worst monthly performance since the start the pandemic.

Brent crude edged up 0.14% to $73.58 a barrel, having climbed down from its seven-year high of $86 a barrel, touched just more than a month a year ago, which is a saving grace for SA that is net importer of Brent crude.

Other commodity prices also perked up, though they are yet to recover to Friday’s levels when global markets reacted negatively to the discovery of the new Covid-19 variant, which initially was perceived as potential risk to global economic recovery.

Platinum was up 1.54% to 964.50/oz, but palladium was flat at $1,805.25/oz.

Asian share markets were mostly higher, catching up with other global markets amid receding concerns over the Omicron variant.

Vaccine manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, said on Monday they stood ready to adapt their vaccines to deal with Omicron, if needed, helping to soothe market concerns.

“It will likely be a couple of weeks before the great and good of the global scientific community can make a definitive judgment on how serious the Omicron variant is,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda in a note.

“That means December is likely to be choppy and driven by Omicron headlines, and the heavyweight data calendar this week will be rendered irrelevant. All that will matter is whether more restrictions are coming back around the world, and whether central banks, especially the Fed, hit the pause button on monetary tightening plans.”

The key data releases this week include the US nonfarm payrolls report on Friday, which markets were going to lean on to speculate on potential increases in interest rates in the US.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za

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