SA stocks could open slightly lower on Wednesday, ahead of the Federal Reserve’s highly anticipated interest rate call, after US President Donald Trump stoked concerns that trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies are faltering.
Trump said China “rips off the US” and had not shown any signs of buying more American agricultural products, despite agreeing to do so.
“This doesn’t bode well for talks that have only just resumed after a three-month hiatus,” analysts at ANZ Banking Group said on Wednesday.
US stocks closed lower overnight ahead of the Fed’s rate decision, due late on Wednesday. The central bank is expected to cut interest rates by 25 basis points.
Amid ongoing protests in the Chinese special administrative region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 1.1%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.5%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.6% and Korea’s Kospi 0.4%. Australia’s main benchmark dropped 0.3%.
Chinese internet and gaming giant Tencent, which is about 31% owned by Naspers, fell 1.2% in Hong Kong. But JSE-listed miner BHP Group gained 0.2% in Australia.
UK-focused landlord Intu Properties is due to publish half-year results on the JSE on Wednesday.
Small-cap electrical products company Ellies is expected to release annual results. The group warned recently that it will probably report a headline loss per share for the year to end-April of between 3c and 4.5c, versus headline earnings per share of 7.89c previously.
Meanwhile, the SA Revenue Service will publish monthly trade statistics.
After losing ground late last week, the rand was slightly stronger on Wednesday morning. The local currency was trading at R14.18/$, R17.24/£ and R15.82/€.