The JSE looks set to contend with mostly weaker Asian markets on Thursday morning, with media giant Tencent down almost 3% as investors consider a regulatory crackdown by the Chinese government.
China has moved to increase oversight of foreign listed firms, citing security concerns, which has put pressure on tech stocks this week. Rising Covid-19 numbers in parts of Asia is also reducing appetite for riskier assets.
US markets were at record highs overnight, however, with the market welcoming the minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting, which failed to show any significantly hawkish commentary from policymakers. Investors had been looking to the minutes for details of the Fed’s plans to taper its bond purchasing programme.
In SA, focus is also on Covid-19, with data showing excess natural deaths in Gauteng have reached a record high as the province grapples with a third wave.
Some investors may be looking for signs of major division within the governing ANC, with former president Jacob Zuma handing himself over to police on Wednesday night after receiving a 15-month sentence for failing to appear at the state capture inquiry.
In morning trade, the Hang Seng was down 2% and Japan’s Nikkei 0.75%, while the Shanghai Composite had lost 0.57%.
Tencent, which gives direction to the local bourse via the Naspers stable, had lost 2.92%.
Gold was down 0.36% to $1,796.37/oz, while platinum had slipped 0.95% to $1,075.71. Brent crude was 0.11% higher at $73.44 a barrel.
The rand was 0.35% weaker at R14.35/$.
The local corporate and economic calendar is bare on Thursday.