Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE opened weaker on Friday, with banks and financials showing little reaction to earlier firmness in the rand, with Naspers leading the losers on volume.

Platinum and gold stocks were lower on softer metal prices. The platinum price lost 0.68% to $834.05 an ounce and gold 0.41% to $1,241.65.

Brent crude was down 1.1% to $73.56 a barrel as oil prices head for the biggest weekly loss in almost five months amid an escalating trade war between the US and China and as Libya is expected to boost output.

Earlier, the local market was under pressure due to subdued manufacturing and mining data in May, with global factors driving sentiment.

The market was attempting to find direction amid choppy trade in forex markets over the past month. Concerns about a global trade war between China and the US have generally been negative for emerging markets, but some indications that a war could be defused through further talks supported the rand on Thursday.

The rand was steady at R13.30 to the dollar on Friday after hitting R13.90 last week.

The pound weakened against the rand and the dollar after US President Donald Trump criticised UK Prime Minister Theresa May for her new stance on a "soft" Brexit.

He said that May ignored his advice for a "hard" Brexit and that Boris Johnson would make a great prime minister, which followed earlier comments that Germany was a captive of Russia.

The dollar gained on the euro following a renewed commitment by Trump to Nato after earlier suggesting he could pull the US out of Nato.

The Dow closed 0.91% higher on Thursday ahead of earnings season, with JPMorgan and Citigroup reporting on Friday.

Asian markets were generally higher with the Nikkei 225 gaining 1.85% on a weaker yen, while the Hang Seng edged up 0.19%.

At 9.56am the all share was 0.19% lower at 56,740.90 points and the top 40 lost 0.22%. The gold index shed 2.17%, platinum 1.14%, food and drug retailers 0.44% and industrials 0.27%. Property edged up 0.14%.

Sasol recovered 0.22% to R509.11.

AngloGold Ashanti was down 2.38% to R112.58.

Absa slipped 0.95% to R160.26.

Quilter dropped 1.09% to R26.43 and Old Mutual 0.47% to R27.64.

Steinhoff rose another 17.35% to R3.37, bringing gains for the week to 94%.

Nepi Rockcastle dropped 0.98% to R121.55.

Naspers lost 1.01% to R3,410 with the market heavyweight heading for a second consecutive negative week.