Rand rallies on record Chinese trade surplus
The rand strengthened to under R13.30 to the dollar in the early hours of Friday, reaching R13.27 at about 3:30am.
At 3am South African time, China reported a record $44.16bn trade surplus, far exceeding the expected $28bn economists’ consensus for June.
The portion of China’s trade surplus attributable to the US was $29bn, a figure likely to be used by the Trump administration to defend its tariffs on Chinese imports.
Mainland China’s Shanghai composite index was down 0.12%, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.58%, with Tencent rising 0.63% to HK$382.40.
In Sydney, BHP was down 0.8% to A$33.29, but South32 was up 0.8% to A$3.63 — providing mixed signals as to whether the JSE’s miners will continue their slide for a third day.
The rand was trading at R13.29 to the dollar, R15.51 to the euro and R17.53 to the pound at 6.45am.
The only JSE company diarised to release its results on Friday is financial services group PBT, formerly called Prescient.
PBT warned shareholders on July 6 that it expected to report on Friday that it turned to a headline loss per share for the year to end-March. Its trading statement did not provide guidance on its overall loss per share, instead splitting it into losses for continuing and discontinued operations.
PBT said it expected to report a headline loss per share of about 0.2c for its 2018 financial year from headline earnings per share (HEPS) of 5.42c in the previous year for discontinued operations.
For continuing operations, its headline loss per share widened to about 1.3c from 0.8c.
PBT said its widening loss from continuing operations was due to “the downsizing of the Middle-East Africa segment of the business”.
“The revenue and profit from the South African and Australia segments collectively have grown satisfactorily and continue to grow at a steady pace. The results have also been negatively affected by large goodwill write-offs and other impairments,” the trading statement said.