JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

An overnight surge in US markets bodes well for the JSE on Friday morning, with market sentiment improving considerably after the US and China agreed to high-level trade talks in October.

The Dow added 1.41% on Wednesday and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 1.75%, after the US and China confirmed mid-level talks would take place in September, ahead of a more comprehensive meeting in early October.

Asian markets were higher on Friday morning, with Japan’s Nikkei rising 2.12%.

Tencent, however, which influences the JSE via Naspers, which has a major shareholding, was flat in Hong Kong.

Big diversified miner BHP was up 0.9% on the Australian stock exchange.

At 6.30am, the rand was steady at R14.87/$, gold was flat at $1,517.48/oz, while platinum had slipped 1.58% to $945.51/oz.

An upbeat private-sector US jobs report on Thursday had also added to the positive sentiment in markets, as well as better-than-expected services data for August.

Focus now shifts to US nonfarm payroll data later on Friday, a measure closely watched by the market as it seeks to price in future interest rate cuts from the US Federal  Reserve.

Investors are now hoping they can take this week’s positivity over the finishing line, so fingers crossed the August US payroll report, the standout highlight today, doesn’t throw a damp towel on the proceedings,” said Vanguard Markets managing partner Stephen Innes in a note.

The corporate calendar is reasonably light, with clothing company Rex Trueform expected to report later that headline earnings per share (Heps) rose by between 153.4% and 173.4% for the year to end-June.

Investment holding company African & Overseas is expected to report that Heps decreased by between 86% and 106% for the year to end-June, and the company may have swung into a headline loss.

Private-equity firm Brainworks and technology group Alviva are also due to report interim and full-year results to end-June respectively, although neither has issued a trading statement.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za