Picture: 123RF/SOLARSEVEN
Picture: 123RF/SOLARSEVEN

The JSE may get a boost from a strong performance by Tencent on Thursday, as markets digest US President Donald Trump signing a human rights bill into law that has displeased China.

Trump signed the bill, as expected, which provides for an annual review of the US trading relationship with Hong Kong.

China has threatened to retaliate over this, with fears it may delay or even scupper a partial US-China trade deal.

“While the Hong Kong bill headlines are far from signalling the door’s always open, the markets appear to be taking things in their stride on the assumption that the US legislation is unlikely to torpedo phase one,” said AxiTrader senior Asian markets analyst Stephen Innes in a note.

In morning trade on Thursday, Asian markets were subdued, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.3% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat.

Tencent was up 1.8%, however, and market heavyweight Naspers may follow suit.

The rand was little changed at R14.76/$.

Gold was up 0.14% to $1,456.20/oz while platinum had fallen 0.31% to $893.38. Brent crude was 0.32% weaker at $662.32 a barrel.

Markets may be subdued by the closure of the US exchange on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Locally, producer price inflation for October is due later, with the data expected to show a moderation of price pressures.

Eskom’s half-year results will get much attention, with debt at the energy utility a key risk to SA’s credit rating.

Quantum Foods is expected to report later that headline earnings per share almost halved in its year to end-September. The poultry and egg producer has faced falling egg prices and rising feed costs.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za