People walk near the reception at the JSE in Sandton. Picture: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS
People walk near the reception at the JSE in Sandton. Picture: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS

Friday looks to be another bad day for the JSE, following Thursday’s 2.27% drop in the all share index.

Tencent was down 4.53% to HK$341,20 in Hong Kong ahead of the JSE’s opening, indicating its 31%-owner Naspers’s 6.42% drop to R3,350 on Thursday may continue.

BHP was down 1% to A$33.43, contributing to a 0.32% drop in Sydney’s ASX 200 index.

The gloomy tone of Asian stock markets on Friday morning was attributed to US President Donald Trump threatening to escalate his trade war with China further.

The rand weakened overnight to trade at R14.72 to the dollar, R17.18 to the euro and R19.16 to the pound at 6.40am.

Friday is deadline day for companies with end-May financial periods, meaning the usual last-minute spurt by laggards either to get their results out or to issue excuses before Sens closes at 6pm.

Several companies with end-June financial periods are diarised to release results on Friday.

These include interim results from Old Mutual and Grindrod, which have both gone through divorces since their last results.

Old Mutual has not issued a trading statement ahead of its first results since the unbundling of Quilter, indicating earnings for its continuing operations will be within 20% of the first half of its 2017 financial year.

Grindrod said on August 16 that, following its separation from its loss-making shipping arm, it expected to report a return to profit of nearly R2.4bn from a loss of R87m.

Headline earnings from continuing operations for the six months ended June 30 will be between R290m and R280m, an improvement of between 25% and 21% compared with the comparable figure of R231m, Grindrod said.

On Thursday, Grindrod Shipping reported its interim loss nearly doubled to $13.5m from $7m.

Other companies that might report on Friday include property group Hyprop, Alphamin Resources, and Stellar Capital.

The SA Revenue Services (Sars) is scheduled to release July’s trade balance figures at about 2pm.

June’s R12bn surplus is expected to narrow to about R5bn in July.

Sars tends to revise the previous month’s figure in its reports.