Hopes that US interest rate cuts are on their way may bolster the JSE a little on Friday, but the local bourse is still on track for its worst weekly loss in almost two months.

Disappointing global economic data and fears that a trade war is brewing between the US and EU has soured appetite for risk assets this week, though JSE-listed gold miners have added 5.5% so far this week.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has given the US the go-ahead for tariffs on the EU, in retaliation for subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus. These are due to kick in on October 18.

Disappointing US jobs and manufacturing data earlier this week was followed by disappointing services data on Thursday, though this has raised expectations that the US Federal Reserve will respond with interest rate cuts.

Expectations of looser monetary policy has helped support the rand, said Peregrine Treasury Solutions corporate treasury manager Bianca Botes in a note.

Focus now shifts to US nonfarm payrolls data, due at 2.30pm SA time, which is the week’s major data release.

At 6.20am on Friday Asian markets were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei down 2% and the Hang Seng 0.54%.

Tencent, which influences the JSE via Naspers and Prosus, was down 0.43%.

Gold was up 0.23% to $1,508.37/oz while platinum had slipped 0.26% to $885.68. Brent crude was up 0.64% to $57.98 a barrel.

The rand was up 0.22% at R15.1237/$.

There are no local data releases scheduled for Friday, though education-focused Pembury’s share price may react to news after markets closed on Thursday that the group’s tangible net asset value fell 16.63% in the six months to end-June.


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