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Picture: 123RF/gopixa
Picture: 123RF/gopixa

The JSE looks set to open to upbeat Asian markets on Wednesday morning, with sentiment getting a boost from news gas flows from Russia will resume as scheduled on Thursday, though at reduced capacity.

There was concern that the Nord Stream pipeline would restart after undergoing maintenance, something that would prompt a severe energy crunch and gas rationing in Europe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested flows will restart, but warned that delays in receiving a turbine vital to supply the pipeline could lead to volumes being cut to only 20% of capacity as soon as the end of July, when another unit is due for maintenance, Bloomberg reported.

The turbine was sent to Canada for repairs and held up there by sanctions.

US bond markets are still strongly signalling a looming recession, SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said in a note, but there was still huge relief across markets that the gas will flow.

In morning trade Japan’s Nikkei gained 2.39%, the Hang Seng 1.74% and the Shanghai Composite 0.67%.

Tencent, which influences the JSE via the Naspers stable, gained 2.28%.

Gold was up 0.12% to $1,712.77/oz while platinum gained 1.26% to $884.50. Brent crude was 0.32% weaker at $106.89 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R17.09/$.

Local attention on Wednesday is squarely on consumer inflation numbers for June, which are expected to show an acceleration from 6.5% in May to above 7%.

The data comes ahead of the Reserve Bank’s interest rate decision on Thursday, with a 50 basis point hike expected.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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