Blackout-plagued JSE faces mixed Asian markets as US bans Russian oil
Markets are still considering the implications of the oil ban, while load-shedding in SA is expected to continue until Saturday
The JSE must contend with a shortage of electricity locally and soaring global energy prices on Wednesday morning, with Asian markets mixed as investors digest the implications of a US ban on Russian oil.
Oil jumped to as much as $133 a barrel on Tuesday in the wake of the announcement. Russia’s oil and gas exports were excluded from the initial sanctions put in place after Russian troops invaded Ukraine.
Prices remained elevated on Wednesday, with oil up 1.53% to $131.24, while gold extended its gains, rising 0.41% to $2,057.99/oz.
Markets remain volatile, unable to price in the implications from the news, given the complex state of the global economy, National Australia Bank currency strategist Rodrigo Catril said in a note.
SA has partly benefited from a surge in commodity prices, but will now have to contend with further inflationary pressures stemming from energy costs, even as rolling blackouts continue.
Data showed on Tuesday that SA’s economy is almost 2% smaller than it was before the pandemic, but Eskom is still unable to guarantee the reliable supply of enough electricity, further cutting into growth prospects for 2022.
In morning trade Australia’s All Ordinaries index was up 0.98% while the Shanghai Composite was down 1.07% and the Hang Seng 2.19%.
Tencent, which influences the JSE via Naspers, had lost almost 3%.
The rand was little changed at R15.26/$.
Banking group Nedbank is expected to report that headline earnings per share (HEPS) more than doubled in its year to end-December, saying in a recent update that its trading performance in the last few months of the year were stronger than expected.
Africa’s largest mobile operator, MTN, is due to report its results for the year to end-December later, expecting HEPS to increase by 35%, though it did not go into much detail in its recent trading update.
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