JSE faces subdued Asian markets amid second-wave jitters

Concerns of further lockdown measures in the US and Europe and trade war concerns saps sentiment


The JSE faces muted Asian markets on Tuesday morning, after a strong sell-off globally as investors consider the prospect of the reintroduction of lockdown measures in Europe.

The JSE fell almost 2.5%, while the rand had its worst day in three months, as investors consider the rapid rise of Covid-19 in many eurozone countries.

The problem is that while case numbers are higher than they were in the spring, the measures taken by the Spanish, French and UK governments are more localised which raises concern about their effectiveness, said BK Asset Management MD for foreign exchange strategy Kathy Lien in a note. This points to further announcements of restrictions in coming days, she said.

US-China relations are also in focus, with reports suggesting the Chinese government may block the sale of TikTok in the US. US politics is weighing on sentiment, amid concerns of a US government shutdown, as well as a partisan battle over a new Supreme Court nominee.

In morning trade on Tuesday the Shanghai Composite was 0.12% lower, while the Hang Seng had fallen 0.26%.

Tencent, which influences the JSE via Naspers, had lost 0.11%.

Gold was up 0.15% to $1,914.92/oz while platinum had risen 1.26% to $894.73. Brent crude was 0.34% weaker at $41.56 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R16.77/$, having lost 2.86% on Monday.

There is little on the local corporate and economic calendar on Tuesday.

Property group Attacq is due to report its results for the year to end-June later, having warned in a recent trading update that distributable earnings per share could fall by just over a fifth.

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