Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Asian stocks took US President Donald Trump’s snubbing a meeting of the region's leaders in Singapore in their stride on Friday morning.

The JSE, which broke a five-day losing streak on Thursday by rising 0.28%, looks likely to be led higher by Naspers and BHP.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.33%, with Tencent, Naspers’s main asset, gaining 0.83% to HK$290.40.

Sydney’s ASX 200 was up 0.24%, with BHP — which is also the JSE top 40’s second-largest constituent — up 1.64% to A$32.56.

Thursday’s Brexit drama led the rand to strengthen from R18.71/£ to R18.05/£, and there is plenty of political turmoil to keep markets volatile on Friday.

Image: Iress

The rand was trading at R14.18/$, R16.08/€ and R18.14/£ at 7am.

A senior Trump administration official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that a document the Chinese government had sent in response to a request from the US government was unlikely to ease trade tensions between the countries.

“The Chinese document included 142 items divided into three categories: issues the Chinese are willing to negotiate for further action, issues they are already working on and issues they consider off limits,” Reuters reported.

“The items on Beijing’s nonnegotiable list were unacceptable to the US,” the official said.

Asian leaders had hoped to discuss trade tensions with Trump at a summit in Singapore on Friday, which the US president failed to attend.

Reuters said the White House did not respond to requests for comment on why Trump snubbed the meeting.

“The US president’s lack of engagement with Asian nations came just days after a trip to France for World War 1 commemorations at which he appeared isolated from Nato allies,” Reuters said.

JSE-listed companies that might release results on Friday include Reinet, Novus and RH Bophelo.

laingr@businesslive.co.za