The JSE could benefit from a return of US-China trade war optimism on Friday, with that issue responsible for subdued trading on global markets for much of the past week.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday the US and China are down to the final steps of agreeing on a “phase one” trade deal, surprising the market.

While risk assets were benefiting, it was worth noting the market was just moving back to the view that such a deal had been reached, said AxiTrader senior market analyst Stephen Innes in a note. The question is now how long a “phase two” deal will take, he said.

At 6.10am Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.32%, while the Shanghai Composite was flat.

Gold had slipped 0.36% to $1,465.65/oz while platinum was flat at $881.55/oz. Brent crude was 0.37% firmer at $62.54 a barrel.

The rand was 0.17% firmer at R14.7899/$. The lower price of gold and a stronger rand may weigh on local gold miners, who sell their product in dollars.

Diversified miner BHP was up 1.64% on the Australian Securities Exchange.

There is little on the corporate calendar on Friday, though Ocean Group’s share price could react to news after markets closed on Thursday that headline earnings per share fell by a quarter in its year to end-September. Adverse weather conditions curtailed the performance of its fish meal and fish oil segment in both SA and the US.


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