JSE opens weaker as banks gain on rand
Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong stocks were buoyed on hopes Beijing and Washington would reach a deal in the latest round of trade talks
The JSE opened lower in cautious trade on Friday despite higher Asian markets, with platinums and industrials on the back foot.
However, banks and retailers gained on a slightly firmer rand. The rand was at R12.5164 to the dollar from R12.5994 at the opening.
The Dow slipped 0.22% on Thursday with escalating trade tensions and rising oil prices weighing on markets. The Nikkei 225 was up 0.4% on Friday morning and the Hang Seng 0.49%.
Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong stocks were buoyed on hopes that Beijing and Washington would reach a deal in the latest round of trade talks, analysts at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking said.
Tencent rose 0.6% in Hong Kong trade, but Naspers, which owns 31.2% of the Chinese game-downloading group, showed little reaction.
Weaker commodity prices weighed on the Australian ASX, with BHP and Rio Tinto both losing more than 1.5%.
Momentum Securities analysts said upbeat earnings in the US were still a vibrant driver of equity performance, even as the overall macroeconomic backdrop remained challenging from an inflation and yield perspective.
"Diminishing central bank support for the market continued to be a consistent consideration," they said.
Brent crude was off earlier highs above $80 a barrel at $79.547.
At 10am the all share was 0.46% lower at 57,919 points and the top 40 had lost 0.52%. The platinum index had shed 1.04%, industrials 1% and resources 0.22%. Banks had risen 0.81%, food and drug retailers 0.74% and financials 0.46%.
Sasol rose 0.28% to R480.10, extending gains for the month to 7.6%.
Richemont dropped 6.26% to R115.82.
Standard Bank rebounded 1.13% to R205.31.
Liberty was down 1.51% to R122.90. The group said in a statement on Friday that its retail division had secured R1.5bn worth of new business during the March quarter, which was 3% lower than the comparable period in 2017.
Steinhoff International rocketed 13.50% to R1.82 on optimism ahead of a meeting with lenders to restructure more than €10.4bn of debt.
Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star) added 0.41% to R17.32.
Nepi Rockcastle rose 1.21% to R125.50.
Naspers shed 0.19% to R3,198.06.
Famous Brands lost a further 0.93% to R102.04 after a disappointing trading update on Thursday.