The JSE slipped lower on Wednesday as stocks struggled for direction while investors await the South African Reserve Bank’s interest rate decision.
The All-Share Index firmed during morning trade and was sitting above 80,300 points at one point before slipping below the 80,000-point mark to close 0.39% lower at 79,725 points.
The SA Reserve Bank monetary policy committee (MPC) is due to conclude its meeting tomorrow and announce its interest rate decision where it is likely the MPC will increase the repo rate by either 25 or 50 basis points.
Global stocks paused near five-month highs as investors began weighing the possibility that central banks may need to continue raising interest rates for a longer period.
Canada’s central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates later on Wednesday with recent data supporting expectations for another move.
Asian markets closed firmer with the Nikkei 0.35% higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 1.82% firmer, and the Shanghai Composite adding 0.76%.
At 05.04 pm, London’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.52%, France’s CAC 40 lost 0.40%, and Germany’s DAX was 0.27% lower. Across the Atlantic, the Nasdaq slipped 2.21% and the S&P 500 dropped 1.52%.
In the currency markets, the rand traded unchanged at R17.19 at the opening and at 05.06 pm was trading at R17.17 against the dollar. The local unit is at R18.7398 against the euro and R21.26 against the pound.
On Tuesday, Microsoft said sales had slowed and profits slumped during the fourth quarter of 2022 as a worsening economy forced the tech giant to lay off around 10,000 workers. Overall sales increased by 2% during the period to $52.7 billion, the slowest increase in six years, while net profit was $16.4 billion for the quarter.