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The JSE faces mostly subdued Asian market activity on Wednesday morning, with focus almost entirely on the US, where the world’s most influential central bank will make a policy announcement later.
Investors expect a 75 basis point hike from the US Federal Reserve at about 8pm SA time, well after markets close, but the tone of the bank will be closely scrutinised.
Markets will be looking at guidance for September and beyond, SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said in a note.
“Markets are pricing at a slower pace of tightening before the Fed pivots to an easing stance in 2023,” he said. “However, Fed chair Jerome Powell has been pushing back against a recession outcome while highlighting an outsize focus on combating inflation.”
Overnight, reports from both Microsoft and Alphabet — the owner of Google — missed expectations, though analysts said the market was still pleased by their upbeat outlook statements. Meta, which owns Facebook, is due to report later in the day, and will be closely watched.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also cut its global growth forecasts for 2022, to 3.2% from 3.6%, and expects only 2.9% growth in 2023.
In morning trade Australia’s All Ordinaries index, the Shanghai Composite, and Japan’s Nikkei were all flat, while the Hang Seng was down 1.56%.
The Hang Seng had risen more than 2% on Tuesday, boosted by news that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba was looking for primary listing in Hong Kong.
Tencent was down 1.97% on Wednesday morning, it is of particular relevance to the JSE given the Naspers stable is its single-biggest shareholder.
Gold was flat at $1,716.64/oz while platinum had fallen 0.29% to $871.50. Brent crude was 0.27% weaker at $104.33 a barrel.
The rand was little changed at R16.92/$.
The local corporate and economic calendars are bare on Wednesday.
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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.