A section of the US-Mexico border wall at Sunland Park, US, opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Picture: REUTERS/JOSE LUIS GONZALEZ
A section of the US-Mexico border wall at Sunland Park, US, opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Picture: REUTERS/JOSE LUIS GONZALEZ

SA stocks could benefit from improved risk sentiment on Monday after US President Donald Trump decided against imposing new tariffs on goods from Mexico.

Late on Friday, Trump suspended a plan to impose tariffs against neighbouring Mexico that had been threatened on the premise that the country is not doing enough to curb illegal immigration.

After being closed for a holiday on Friday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 2% up on Monday and China’s Shanghai composite lifted 1%. 

Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Korea’s Kospi were both up 1.1%, while Australia’s main benchmark gained 1%.

Chinese internet and gaming giant Tencent surged 2.9% in Hong Kong, suggesting a strong opening for major shareholder and JSE heavyweight Naspers.

BHP Group, the third-largest constituent of the JSE’s top-40 index, rallied 2.1%.

No major company results are expected on the JSE on Monday.

The rand, meanwhile, clawed back some lost ground by Monday morning. The local currency was at R14.97/$, R19.02/£, and R16.93/€.

“Poor wage data from the US on Friday, coupled with Mexico agreeing to a migration deal to avoid tariffs, added to the rand gaining some ground,” said Bianca Botes, treasury partner at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.

China released “improved” export data on Monday, while import data will follow later in the day, Botes said.

The UK is scheduled to publish production-related data during the day, while traders will also keep an eye on job-openings figures in the US.

Botes said the rand is expected to trade at R14.90-R15.05 to the dollar on Monday.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za