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File photo: BLOOMBERG/CHAN LONG HEI
File photo: BLOOMBERG/CHAN LONG HEI

The JSE could benefit from some positive sentiment on Asian markets on Monday morning, with investors welcoming signs that Covid-19 lockdowns in China are coming to an end.

Beijing and Shanghai have started to relax restrictions after case numbers continued to drop at the weekend, with a further boost coming from the announcement of support measures aimed at helping with a recovery.

In Shanghai, approvals for property projects will accelerate, rents for some businesses will be cut, a purchase tax for some passenger vehicles will be reduced, and electric car subsidies will be outlined, said SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes in a note.

The reopening narrative has boosted global risk sentiment, particularly about the yuan, as hope arises for a return to some semblance of economic normality in China's services sector, said Innes.

Global sentiment also ended last week on a positive note, with US Federal Reseve minutes pointing to the prospect of a pause in that central bank's interest rate hiking cycle in the fourth quarter.

In morning trade, the hang seng was up 1.87% and Japan's nikkei 2.01%, while the Shanghai composite gained 0.37%.

Tencent, which can give direction to the JSE via the Naspers stable, rose 1.93%.

Gold was up 0.36% to $1,860.01/$ while platinum gained 0.36% to $958. Brent crude was up 2.34% to $120.04 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R15.57/$.

The economic calendar is bare on Monday. In corporate news, labour services group Adcorp is expected to report headline earnings per share more than doubled in its year to end-February. The group has said its training business has been showing recovery, while it has been focusing on exiting unprofitable contracts in its outsourcing division.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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