The JSE faces fragile global sentiment on Wednesday, with all eyes on the start of US-China trade talks later this week.
Chinese officials have already arrived in Washington, and this is the largest and most wide-ranging team sent by China in all 13 rounds of negotiations since 2018, Kathy Lien, BK Asset Management MD for foreign exchange strategy, said in a note.
“But don’t bet on a China deal just yet because on the very same day that Chinese officials land in the US, the Trump administration blacklisted 28 Chinese firms for human rights violations and banned visas for Chinese officials linked to the mass detention of Muslims in the Xinjiang province,” she said.
The rand is taking some heat, with a range of R15.20/$-R15.35/$ expected for the day, Bianca Botes, Peregrine Treasury Solutions corporate treasury manager, said in a note.
At 6.15am Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.7%, while Japan’s Nikkei had added 0.99%.
Gold was flat at $1,505.81/oz while platinum had added 0.25% to $893.07/oz. Brent crude was down 0.17% to $58.02 a barrel.
The rand was 0.17% firmer at R15.254/$, having lost 1.37% so far this week.
WeChat owner Tencent had slipped 1.24% in Hong Kong, boding ill for Naspers and Prosus.
Diversified miner BHP was down 1.04% on the Australian Securities Exchange.
While focus remains on news about the US-China talks, some focus is also on Brexit, amid doubts that a deal can be reached by end-October.
The SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) business confidence index for September is due at 11.30am. The index is expected to have declined further in September, having fallen to a 34-year low of 89.1 index points in August.