The JSE may feel pressure on Friday morning with Asian markets under severe pressure after the White House moved to ban US companies from doing business with WeChat owner Tencent and ByteDance, the owner of the TikTok app.

The White House cited national security concerns as it effectively barred the use of WeChat and TikTok in the US by giving US companies 45 days to stop financial transactions with the two Chinese tech giants.

Tencent’s largest shareholder is Naspers, Africa’s largest company by market capitalisation, and therefore often sets the direction for the local bourse. The Naspers stable owns 31.2% of the WeChat owner.

In morning trade Tencent was down 6.75%, earlier falling as much as 10%, Bloomberg reported.

Asian markets were under pressure amid concerns of escalation in the US-China trade war, with focus on US nonfarm payrolls number later.

The Hang Seng was down 2.27% while the Shanghai Composite had fallen 1.47%.

Gold had slipped 0.21% to $2,058.87/oz while platinum had slumped 3.38% to $965.24/oz. Brent crude was down 0.29% to $44.29 a barrel.

The rand was 0.56% weaker at R17.51/$.

Locally, AngloGold Ashanti is expected to report a jump in profits in its half year to end-June later, citing, among other things, foreign-exchange gains and a higher gold price. The group’s share has jumped by more than three quarters so far in 2020.


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