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An employee passes share price information displayed on an electronic ticker board inside the London Stock Exchange Group’s offices in London, the UK. Picture: BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES/LUKE MACGREGOR
An employee passes share price information displayed on an electronic ticker board inside the London Stock Exchange Group’s offices in London, the UK. Picture: BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES/LUKE MACGREGOR

The JSE faces mostly positive Asian markets on Monday morning, with sentiment boosted by news that the US aims to further reduce tariffs on Chinese imports.

US secretary of commerce Gina Raimondo signalled a growing openness to reduce import tariffs beyond sectors such as steel and aluminium, said SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes in a note, with this inflation-fighting stance helping to support sentiment.

The US is now battling with inflation that is at multidecade highs, and all attention is on data for May on Friday that is expected to show an easing from April's 8.3% year-on-year rise. The European Central Bank (ECB) is also holding a policy meeting later this week that will be closely watched amid expectations it will signal forthcoming interest rate hikes.

US jobs numbers came in higher than expected last week Friday, helping to confirm that the US Federal Reserve will be continuing a rapid path of monetary policy tightening.

In morning trade the Shanghai composite was up 1.05% and the Hang Seng 1.1%, having both been closed on Friday for the Dragon Boat festival. Australia's all ordinaries index was down 0.41%, while Japan's nikkei gained 0.6%.

Tencent, which can influence the JSE via the Naspers stable, rose 0.39%.

Gold was up 0.26% to $1,855.89/oz while platinum was flat at $1,016. Brent crude was 0.58% weaker at $120.54 a barrel.

The rand was 0.54% firmer at R15.50/$.

The local economic calendar is bare on Monday, with focus this week on first-quarter GDP numbers on Tuesday, expected to show SA's economy grew about 1.7% in the first three months of the year.

The corporate calendar is light in terms of results on Monday. Financial services group Alexforbes is due to release its earnings report for the year to end-March later, saying in a trading update it expects headline earnings per share to more than double, and that its advice-led model has contributed to sustained new business.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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