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A decline in Naspers and Prosus shares weighed on the JSE on Wednesday afternoon, after the latter said it planned to sell 2% of its stake in Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings to support growth ventures.
Wall Street dipped in choppy trade on Wednesday as investors anticipated minutes from the last Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting that could clarify the bank’s stance on inflation and its economic outlook.
European markets retreated on Wednesday as investors exercised caution amid a deceleration in vaccine distribution across Europe and rising infections in several countries.
Led by a decline in financials, consumer staples and a selloff in A-shares, Chinese stocks continued on their downward trend as upbeat economic data accelerated fears of policy tightening. The Hang Seng closed at 28 674.80 points.
Japanese stocks closed higher on Wednesday with electronics in the lead after multinational conglomerate Toshiba said it was considering a $20 billion proposal to go private. The Nikkei rose to 0.12% at 29 730.79, while the broader Topix added 0.67% to 1 967.43.
At the close of business, the rand weakened to R14.54/$, R17.27/€, and strengthened to R19.98/£ after local factory activity rose marginally to 50.3 points in March 2021 from 50.2 in the previous month.
Spot gold dipped 0.68% to $1 737.72/oz by 18h30 as a mixture of upbeat economic data from the US and hopes of a swift economic rebound tainted the metal’s safe-haven appeal.
Oil prices were elevated by upbeat sentiment over signs of a solid economic recovery “ though gains were capped as talks to revive a nuclear deal with Iran raised the possibility of an easing of sanctions on its oil exports.”
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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