Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE could track weaker Asian markets on Friday, with local heavyweight Naspers likely to be under pressure after the share price of its main asset Tencent fell on Thursday.

Tencent had initially gained on Friday after the release of results that saw core profit numbers that were better than expectations, but was more than 1% lower on Friday morning.

Local stocks will also need to react to some currency volatility on Thursday, when the pound plunged amid continued Brexit uncertainty.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has requested an extension of the Brexit deadline until the end of June, but is waiting for an official response from the EU.

On Friday morning, the Hang Seng index was 0.5% lower at the lunch break, with Tencent down 1.27%. 

The main South Korean index was down 0.2%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was 0.11% lower.

The rand was flat against majors on Friday morning, at R14.2032 to the dollar, R16.1573 to the euro and R18.6532 to the pound. The euro was flat at $1.1375.

There are some small-cap companies set to release on Friday, although the local economic and corporate calendar is somewhat sparse.

Retailer African and Overseas Enterprises is expected to report that headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end-December gained 233% and 253%.

Retailer Rex Trueform is expected to report that HEPS for the six months to end-December rose 151% year on year.

Gold was flat at $1,308.21 per ounce while platinum lost 0.24% to $858.12. Brent crude was up 0.12% at $67.72 a barrel.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za