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The JSE looks set to open to mixed Asian markets on Thursday morning, putting in question whether it will hold onto the prior session’s record close above 73,000 points.

The local bourse added 1.1% on Wednesday, with global markets lifted by the receding threat of the Omicron variant, which while more transmissible, appears less deadly. This brought the gains by the local bourse so far in 2021 to 23.28%.

US markets also reached record closes overnight, while in morning trade in Asia, the Shanghai Composite had added 0.74% while Japan's Nikkei had given back 0.24%.

“The upbeat mood was helped along by better than expected US retail sales and larger than expected drops in US crude oil and gasoline inventories, suggesting that despite the current virus wave, the US domestic economy continues to power forward,” said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note.

“A dearth of heavy-duty data releases globally this week continues to leave markets driven by sentiment and by sentiment, I mean Omicron headlines,” he said.

Gold was 0.27% weaker at $1,798.98/oz, while platinum was 0.67% lower at $978. Brent crude was flat at $79.98 a barrel.

The rand was 0.16% weaker at R15.96/$.

The local economic and corporate calendar is bare on Thursday.



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