Asia Stocks Rise, U.S. Futures Steady; Oil Climbs

03/06/2021 Most Asian markets are up and U.S. Futurese contracts are steady, weathering the latest twist in the U.S.-China relationship as well as comments from the Federal Reserve on a potential reduction in stimulus.
Optimism over the vaccine rollout boosted Japanese equities, while Hong Kong retreated, 700 HK – 1.18%. China’s shares edged higher despite President Joe Biden’s plans to amend a U.S. ban on investments in companies linked to the Chinese military, which may expand scrutiny to a wider set of enterprises.

Locally the rand reached its best intraday level to the dollar since February 6 2019 yesterday, as most emerging-market (EM) currencies gained in risk-on trade. The Rand has touched R 13.51 this morning. The All Share closed up 0.18% at 69049 yet another record and the first time above the 69000 level, EXX led the gainers up 2.53% but SA Inc names all faired well.

Standard Bank and Markit Economics whole economy purchasing managers’ index probably fell to 52.5 in May from 53.7 a month earlier, according to the median estimate of 5 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The data is scheduled to be published at 9:15am.

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ECONOMIC DATA:

• 1pm: April Electricity Production YoY, prior 1.8%
• 1pm: April Electricity Consumption YoY, prior 3%
Stock markets in Europe closed mostly higher on Wednesday as investors weighed up optimism over the region’s economic recovery and fears over rising inflation. Investors in the U.S. and Europe are looking ahead to key U.S. jobs data later this week and upcoming meetings of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Markets were given a boost on Tuesday by strong manufacturing activity data out of the U.K. and the euro zone, while concerns over inflation continue to temper optimism. FTSE + 0.27%, CAC + 0.50%, DAX + 0.23%.
In the US, the 30-stock Dow rose just 25.07 points to close at 34,600.38. Similarly, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite ended the day up 0.14%. The market, focused on the link between inflation pressures and the reopening of U.S. businesses, may be on hold before the release of the jobs report Friday, which is likely to show an additional 671,000 nonfarm payrolls in May, compared to the 266,000 jobs that were added the month before, according to economists polled by Dow Jones.
Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher in Thursday trade, as investors reacted to data releases in Australia and China. A private survey released Thursday showed slowing Chinese services activity growth in May. The Caixin/Markit services PMI Index for May came in at 55.1 on Thursday, lower than the reading of 56.3 in April. Still, that was well above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction. Shares in Australia also rose, with the S&P/ASX 200 climbing 0.44%. Australia’s retail sales rose 1.1% month-on-month in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data released Thursday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.33%.
Oil jumps to more than two-year high on OPEC+ supply discipline and demand prospects. Brent + 0.67% $ 71.83, WTI + 0.61% $ 69.25.
Gold is back below the $ 1900 level trading at $ 1898 while investors wait for key economic data this week that will shed light on the outlook for inflation. Platinum is down 0.60% at $ 1187 and Palladium down 0.05% at $ 2857