The JSE faces subdued Asian markets on Friday, as investors digest data showing a historic contraction in US GDP in the second quarter.

US GDP contracted by almost a third in the three months to end-June, while sentiment is also under pressure from concerns of rising Covid-19 numbers, including in Japan.

Offsetting this was upbeat Chinese manufacturing data earlier, while US tech giants, including Alphabet — the owner of Google — Amazon, Apple and Facebook all released upbeat earnings reports after US markets closed on Thursday.

“Of the four, only Alphabet suffered a sales drop, and even that was less than expected. The other three showed impressive gains and blew forecasts out of the water,” said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note.

In morning trade on Friday Japan’s Nikkei had fallen 2.29%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.2%.

Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE via Naspers, had added 1.47%.

Gold was up 0.66% to $1,966.24/oz while platinum was flat at $905.06/oz. Brent crude was 0.23% weaker at $43.28 a barrel.

The rand was a little firmer at R16.73/$.


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