The JSE looks set to join mostly positive, albeit somewhat subdued, Asian markets on Monday morning, with investors waiting for fresh catalysts.
Data at the weekend showed a surprise decline in Chinese manufacturing sector activity in July, an indication of the costs of the zero-Covid-19 policy, while markets are starting off August positively.
Wall Street had its best month since 2020 in July, buoyed by strong earnings reports and indications from the US Federal Reserve that further hefty interest rate hikes may not be required.
“At best, earnings beats have been average, but the lack of fireworks means boring is beautiful,” SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said in a note.
Focus is still on US earnings this week, while the big economic news will be US nonfarm payrolls on Friday. Markets are also watching for a possible visit to Taiwan by US House speaker Nancy Pelosi that could significantly ratchet up tension with China.
In morning trade on Monday the Shanghai composite was up 0.16% and Japan’s nikkei 0.52, while the hang seng dipped 0.32%.
Tencent, which influences the JSE via the Naspers stable, fell 1.24%.
Gold was 0.26% weaker at $1,761.36/oz while platinum was up 0.18% to $893.50. Brent crude fell 4.53% to $102.79 a barrel.
The rand was little changed at R16.63/$.
The Absa purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for July will be released later, expected to show a decline from June’s 52.2 points, due to significant load-shedding.
The gauge provides an early indication of underlying economic activity, covering areas such as employment and new sales order activity, with a reading of 50 serving as a neutral mark.
Liberty Two Degrees, which owns stakes in malls such as Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square, is due to release its interim results to end-June later, though it hasn’t released a recent trading update.