South African futures tracked the weaker JSE on Friday with all eyes on how the rand will react to events this weekend at the ANC elective conference.

The party’s 6,500 delegates are scheduled to have decided on new leadership by Sunday evening. Squabbling may, however, delay events to next week, analysts said.

In the US, efforts are under way to reconcile two versions of a long-awaited tax-reform bill. Uncertainty as to the prospects of tax reforms being successful helped dull sentiment in Asia and Europe on Friday, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

Despite this, the Dow opened firmer, with investors seemingly shrugging off the concerns over the tax bill, the newswire said.

The all share fell 0.75% to 57‚412.8 points and the top 40 1.06%. Industrials gave up 1.44%‚ food and drug retailers 1.07%, and banks 0.41%.

At 5.40pm, the Dow was up 0.59%, while European markets were mixed. The FTSE 100 was up 0.33% while the CAC 40 had lost 0.26%.

Platinum had gained 0.27% to $885 an ounce and gold 0.25% to $1,256.12, while Brent crude was off 0.19% to $63.28 a barrel.

The top-40 Alsi futures index fell 0.67% to 51,280 points. The number of contracts traded was 27,299 from Thursday’s 16,705.

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