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The JSE, which lost 3% on Tuesday, faces Asian market pressure on Wednesday morning, with reality setting in about the severe threats to the globe’s economic outlook.
The concern the world is heading towards stagflation and substantially reduced demand helped prompt an almost 8% fall in oil prices on Tuesday, with analysts noting that worry about Europe is particularly acute, given surging energy prices, which have supported the dollar.
Gas prices ran against the grain, surging to a four-month high in Europe as oil workers in Norway pursue a wage-related strike, said National Australia Bank economist Taylor Nugent.
While three gas fields have been shut in strikes that began on Monday evening, there are plans to shut more, he said, with the energy crisis overlay explaining the more bearish tone evident in Europe.
Locally, there was some good news on Tuesday after the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) accepted a 7% wage deal from Eskom, which should help with an energy crunch that resulted in stage 6 load-shedding for the first time since 2019.
Stage 5 load-shedding is expected to be implemented on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and Eskom’s schedule is likely to be in focus, given the bare corporate and economic calendars.
In morning trade the Hang Seng was down 1.55%, the Shanghai Composite 1.34% and Japan’s Nikkei 1.2%.
Tencent, which influences the JSE via the Naspers stable, fell 1.15%.
Gold was up 0.3% to $1,769.35/oz, after losing 2.36% on Tuesday, while platinum was 0.4% lower at $862.50, having lost 2.4% on Tuesday.
The rand was flat at R16.53/$, after slipping 1.16% in the previous session.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.