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Picture: 123RF/DANIIL PESHKOV
Picture: 123RF/DANIIL PESHKOV

The JSE looks set to contend with mixed, but mostly lower Asian markets on Monday morning, with investors still jittery about elevated inflation and a darkening global economic outlook.

Asian markets ended last week fairly strongly, boosted by a surprise cut in lending costs in China, while US markets also showed some resilience, but still posted an eighth consecutive week of losses.

Sentiment remains extremely fragile due to concerns high interest rates will result in a recession later this year. The local bourse may also benefit from an announcement late on Friday that ratings agency S&P Global Ratings has bumped up the outlook on SA's sovereign debt to positive, but it remains in junk status.

Favourable terms of trade were cited by the ratings agency.

Focus this week will be on economic data and corporate earnings reports out of the US, with inflation data from the same country, as investors consider the extent of damage due to price pressures and supply chain disruptions.

In morning trade the hang seng was down 1.88% and the Shanghai composite 0.47%, while Japan's nikkei gained 0.7%.

Tencent, which can influence the JSE via the Naspers stable, lost 2.56%.

Gold was up 0.41% to $1,854.25/oz while platinum rose 0.72% to $960.98. Brent crude was 1.82% higher at $113.28 a barrel.

Private hospital operator Netcare is due to release its results for the six months to end-March later, saying in a recent trading update that occupancy levels had improved and headline earnings per share (Heps) could rise a fifth year on year.

Pharmacy group Dis-Chem is due to release its results for the year to end-February later, saying in a recent trading update that after-tax profits will rise more than a quarter, with July's civil unrest having a limited impact.

Diversified industrial group Barloworld, which is due to report a surge in profits for its half-year to end-March later, has flagged a bounce back in car rentals in recent trading updates.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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