The JSE was little changed on Friday morning, tracking muted European markets despite upbeat Chinese data.

However, Asian markets were firmer, following upbeat data from China.

At 10.32am the all share was off 0.08% to 57,701.1 points and the top 40 0.1%.

Industrials had lost 0.32 and food and drug retailers 0.52%. Platinums were up 0.69% and resources 0.38%.

China's exports grew 9.0% in September from a year earlier in yuan terms, following a 6.9% gain in August, reported Dow Jones Newswires. Imports in September rose 19.5% in yuan terms from a year earlier, compared with a 14.4% rise in August, the General Administration of Customs said.

European markets were, however, subdued, digesting comments from a European Central Bank official that the bank risked destabilising the financial system if the eurozone’s bond-buying programme were extended for too long. Discussions within the EU over a trade agreement with Britain are also ongoing.

Much of Friday’s focus would, however, be on US inflation data due later in the day, with rand volatility seen to be the main driver of market direction this week.

Expectations are for US headline inflation to increase to 2.3% and core inflation to 1.8%, said Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns. But there is higher than usual uncertainty because of potential hurricane effects and because of the repeated forecast misses in the past few months, he said.

On the local bourse, diversified miner Glencore had added 1.46% to R66.03 and BHP 1.09%.

Kumba Iron Ore jumped 4.77% to R246.89.

Impala Platinum had gained 3.04% to R31.85.

Northam Platinum had lost 1.6% to R46.60, despite earlier announcing Global Credit Rating had upgraded its long term credit rating to A-from BBB+.

Imperial Holdings was off 1.13% to R204.23 after earlier announcing that the chairperson of its risk committee, Younaid Waja, had resigned as an independent nonexecutive director.

At the same time the FTSE 100 had dropped 0.39% while the DAX 30 had gained 0.07%, enough for it to reach another record high.

Brent crude was up 1.51% to $57.22 a barrel.

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