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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 looks set to open to mostly positive Asian markets on Tuesday, amid mixed news from the world’s largest retailers, while focus remains on the US Federal Reserve announcement later this week.

Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba said on Tuesday it would be seeking a primary listing in Hong Kong, where it has a secondary listing, while also keeping its presence in the US, helping lift its share by 6%.

Investors were also digesting news overnight from Walmart, the world’s second-biggest retailer, which cut its profit forecasts while warning that inflation is whittling away the spending power of its customers.

Market activity is expected to be subdued this week ahead of Wednesday’s Fed announcement, with another 75 basis point interest rate hike expected, though many central banks have recently delivered hawkish surprises. Focus remains on US earnings.

Tuesday sees Alphabet and Microsoft deliver reports and though there is a lot of nerves around the digital advertising space, it is likely to be Meta’s results tomorrow that set the tone, Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said in a note.

In morning trade the Hang Seng was up 1.41% and the Shanghai Composite 0.83%, while Japan’s Nikkei was flat. Tencent, important to the JSE due to the Naspers stable, gained 0.37%.

Gold was 0.31% higher at $1,724.11/oz, while platinum gained 0.45% to $884.50. Brent crude was 1.66% higher at $106.66 a barrel.

The rand was 0.18% firmer at R16.75/$, on track for a fourth-consecutive session of gains, and at its best level in 11 days.

Kumba Iron Ore is due to report its results for the six months to end-June later, with profits expected to halve, with heavy rainfall earlier in the year contributing to a 13% fall in production.

The SA Reserve Bank’s leading business cycle indicator for May will be released on Tuesday. The leading indicator shows a projection of SA’s economic growth cycle for the next six to 12 months.

The indicator is based on a range of components, including the number of approved building plans, job advertisement space, the Bureau for Economic Research business confidence index, manufacturing order volumes and passenger vehicles sold.

It had fallen 0.3% month on month in April, 

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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