Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE
Bull and bear statues at the JSE. Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
Bull and bear statues at the JSE. Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

The JSE could get off to a cautious start on Friday — a shortened trading day — as index-heavyweight BHP Group tumbles in Australia and global risk appetite remains muted.

SA’s main bourse, which will close at 3pm to facilitate the launch of a new derivatives platform, will likely take its cue from Asian markets, which were mixed after the morning session on Friday.

“Global risk appetite may take a breather today,” Singapore-based OCBC Bank said.

The US and Japan have commenced trade talks, concerns are growing about North Korea, and markets “may tread water” ahead of the release of US first quarter GDP growth numbers later in the day.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.1% up at the lunch break, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was 0.6% lower.

Shares in Naspers-associate Tencent were flat, while JSE-heavyweight BHP Group was 1.7% down in Australia.

On the JSE, Pick n Pay Stores and African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) are due to publish results.

Pick n Pay said earlier in March earnings rose as turnover grew 9.6% in the 53 weeks to March 3.

AEEI, meanwhile, previously delayed the release of its interim results after the JSE asked its associate, Ayo Technology Solutions, to get its auditors to review its financials.

The rand was stronger on Friday morning after losing ground to the dollar in recent trading sessions.

It was 0.4% firmer against the dollar, pound and euro, at R14.36/$, R18.53/£, and R15.99/€.