Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The JSE looks set for a third consecutive day of gains on Thursday amid receding fears over the coronavirus and after a stellar US jobs report on Wednesday.

The Nasdaq climbed to a record high on Wednesday after a private sector jobs report showed US employers added 291,000 workers in January. This was almost twice what economists had expected, and a five-year high.

Markets have also been buoyed by news that Chinese researchers have discovered an effective treatment for the coronavirus, helping to allay fears of a protracted and economically damaging crisis.

Notably, though, the World Health Organisation commented that there was no known treatment available for the coronavirus, nor was there any on the horizon, said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note. “It highlights the information gap between what we actually know about the Wuhan virus, and what we hope we know.”

Asian markets were firmly higher on Thursday morning, with the Hang Seng and Nikkei both up about 2%, while the Shanghai Composite had added 0.99%.

Tencent was up 1.38%.

Gold had fallen 0.18% to $1,553.10/oz, while platinum was flat at $982.27. Brent crude had risen 1.12% to $56.20 a barrel.

The rand was little changed at R14.74/$.

Locally, ArcelorMittal SA and Net1 UEPs are expected to release earnings updates later in the day.

The SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) business confidence index for January is also due later, with economists expecting a slight improvement in sentiment.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za