JSE may follow firmer Asian markets on Monday


The JSE faces mostly firmer Asian markets on Monday morning, with some optimism over a Covid-19 vaccine boosting sentiment before a busy week.

Local focus is on the forthcoming Reserve Bank policy announcement on Thursday, and a potential easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

The Reserve Bank is expected to cut interest rates by 25 basis points on Thursday, amid a worse-than-expected GDP slump in the second quarter, and a recent announcement from the US Federal Reserve that it will tolerate higher inflation.

The Fed is due to make a policy announcement on Wednesday, while the Bank of England will likewise pronounce on monetary policy on Thursday.

Locally, focus is on a possible easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the week ahead, with a move to a level-1 lockdown, which would allow the mining and manufacturing industries to operate at full employment.

Sentiment is being boosted somewhat by vaccine hopes, with Pfizer saying at the weekend it may get approval for one by year’s end.

In morning trade on Monday the Shanghai Composite was up 0.56% and the Hang Seng 0.67%.

Tencent, which influences the JSE via Naspers, had jumped 3.3%.

Gold was up 0.44% to $1,928.44 an ounce while platinum had risen 1.17% to $938.90. Brent crude was 0.48% higher at $39.97 a barrel.

The rand was 0.21% firmer at R16.70 a dollar.

Bidvest is expected to report a profit fall in its year to end-June later on Monday, having also warned in a recent trading update of writedowns to its businesses to reflect a deteriorating economy.

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