Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

The JSE was flat on Friday morning, but on track for its fourth consecutive week of gains, as markets digested conflicting signals about the health of the Chinese economy.

Sentiment has been boosted a little by signs of progress in the US-China trade talks, although data on the health of the Chinese manufacturing disappointed.

At 10am the all share was flat at 54,139.4 points, while the top 40 was little changed. Gold miners added 1.56%, general retailers 0.37%, and food and drug retailers 0.19%. Banks were down 0.57%.

At the same time gold was down 0.23% at $1,318.25/oz, still close to an eight-month high. Platinum was flat at $821.64/oz while Brent oil was 0.13% lower at $61 a barrel.

Diversified miner Glencore was down 1.06% to R53.16.

Rand hedge AB InBev was up 1.09% to R1,0180 and Richemont 1.23% to R91.93.

Naspers was down 0.94% to R3,011.51.

US President Donald Trump intends to meet with Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in a bid to finalise a deal. Uncertainty on the outcome will continue to support gold, as Trump also made clear there would be more tariffs if an agreement is not reached, said Oanda analyst Alfonso Esparza.

Focus is now expected to shift to US nonfarm payrolls data, due at 3.30pm local time.

Locally, the monthly Absa-sponsored SA manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) for December is due at 11am, followed by January’s new vehicle sales figures at about 2pm.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za