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

Further compromises in the US-China trade war could boost the JSE on Thursday, after US President Donald Trump’s delay of planned tariffs by two weeks in a “gesture of goodwill”.

On Wednesday, China said it would exempt 16 US products from additional tariffs as of September 17, helping to cool investor concerns about the trade war’s effect on the global economy.

Signs of progress in the US-China trade war and expectations of stimulus packages from major global economies have helped support equities this week, with the focus on Thursday on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) policy announcement at 1.45pm SA time.

“Investors have big expectations for this meeting because of widespread deterioration in the eurozone economy and talk of recession in Germany,” said BK Asset Management MD for foreign exchange strategy Kathy Lien. “There is also a reasonable chance the ECB will underdeliver.”

Local focus will be on mining data for July, with the consensus that the sector finally registered some year-on-year growth in that month.

At 6.30am on Thursday Asian markets were somewhat subdued, though Japan’s Nikkei had added 0.96%.

Gold was flat at $1,495/oz while platinum had added 0.32% to $945.62. Brent crude was 0.31% up at $61.22 a barrel.

The corporate calendar is fairly light, though Spur is expected to report that sales rose 7.2% to R7.6bn in the year to end-June.

Aspen Pharmacare’s share price should also react to its results released after markets closed on Wednesday. Africa’s largest drug maker reported a 15% decline in headline earnings per share to 1,254c for the year to end-June, opting not to pay a dividend as it struggles with high debt levels.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za