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Tracking Asian markets for the most part of the day, the JSE ended lower on Wednesday after hopes of a possible trade deal between Washington and Beijing were dampened by US President Donald Trump’s attack on China. Shortly after the closing bell, the All Share was down by 0.80%.
Shares on Wall Street rebounded on Wednesday following the release of a better-than-expected earnings report from Apple Inc, while investors kept a close watch on the US Federal Reserve (Fed) and its stance on monetary policy. At 17h45, the S&P 500 was trading at 0.12% in the green.
European shares rebounded on Wednesday following a solid performance by retail banking company BNP Paribas which countered the release of a poor earnings report from market heavyweight Lloyds and concerns of a no-deal Brexit. At 17h50, the DAX was 0.33% in the green.
Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday after Trump warned China not to drag the trade negotiations while Beijing’s negative stance on the property market weighed on sentiment. At 17h55, the Hang Seng lost 1.18%.
Threats of a no-deal conclusion from the US-China trade talks weighed heavily on Japanese shares on Wednesday, while automotive parts suppliers and banks posted poor earnings, which dragged down overall market sentiment. At the closing bell, the Nikkei had lost 0.86%.
The rand strengthened against major global currencies on Wednesday as markets priced in a 25 basis-points rate cut, but perhaps more important for investors was to see whether the Fed would be more aggressive in easing monetary policy in the near future. At 18h00, the rand traded at R14.16 against the dollar.
Gold prices held steady on Wednesday as investors remained optimistic that the Fed would lower interest rates by at least 25 basis points, which would reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold. At 18h05, spot gold was trading in the green at $1 428.23 an ounce.
A decline in US inventories prompted a fifth consecutive day of gains for oil prices on Wednesday ahead of a much-anticipated interest rate cut by the Fed, which would encourage oil demand and apply downward pressure on the dollar. At 18h10, a barrel of Brent crude was trading at $65.08.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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