JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

The extent of losses on the South African futures index exceeded those of the JSE on Friday, despite a firmer Dow, ahead of a possibly volatile trading week.

Trading on the local bourse has been choppy, with international markets this week lacking a clear direction, as investors gauged the implications of recently imposed import tariffs on US steel and aluminium.

Local focus next week will be on a decision by ratings agency Moody’s on Friday. Should the agency downgrade SA’s sovereign debt to junk status, significant volatility for local bonds and the rand will follow, and could scuttle any hopes of an interest-rate cut later this month.

Global focus will be on the US Federal Reserve open market committee meeting, with an interest-rate announcement due on Thursday. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates by 25 basis points.

The spotlight will also be on the White House, amid reports suggesting US President Donald Trump is gearing up to remove more senior staff, as his administration pivots towards a more aggressive foreign policy on trade.

The all share fell 0.18% to 58‚101 points and the top 40 0.37%. Banks fell 0.88%‚ platinums 3.8% and gold miners 1.6%. General retailers firmed 1.92% and resources 0.67%. The all share ended the week 0.18% lower.

At 5.40pm, the Dow was up 0.42%, while in Europe the DAX 30 had gained 0.62%, the FTSE 100 0.54% and the CAC 40 0.42%.

At the same time, platinum was off 0.73% to $946.9 an ounce and gold 0.34% to $1,311.49. Brent crude was up 1.11% to $65.73.

The top-40 Alsi futures index fell 0.54% to 51,949 points. The index ended the week 0.28% higher. The number of contracts traded was 20,589 from Thursday’s 7,251.