Picture: 123RF/BACHO 12345
Picture: 123RF/BACHO 12345

The JSE faces weaker Asian markets on Friday morning, with US markets weaker overnight following worrying corporate earnings and economic data.

US jobless claims spiked to 861,000 last week, much higher than expected, and above an upwardly revised 848,000 for the previous week. Retail giant Walmart also gave a downbeat forecast of operating conditions.

The Dow Jones index gave back 0.38% overnight, while in morning trade on Friday the Hang Seng was down 0.85% and Japan’s Nikkei 1.05%.

“Expectations of a broad global economic recover aided by vaccine rollouts and official support has buoyed the equity market, but recent data releases and earnings reports are suggesting this positive outlook is still facing some near-term bumps,” said National Australia Bank analyst Rodrigo Catril in a note.

Tencent, which influences the JSE via Naspers, had fallen 1.54% on Friday morning.

Gold was 0.45% weaker at $1,767.45/oz while platinum gave back 2.4% to $1,242.01. Brent crude was 0.95% weaker at $62.86 a barrel.

The rand was 0.28% weaker at R14.61/$, but has still firmed 3.55% over the past month.

Fashion group Truworths is set to provide an investor update for the half-year to end-December later, having released numbers late on Thursday afternoon. The group said on Thursday it has plans to open a new chain of stores to take on Mr Price and Jet, amid pressure on consumer and demand for lower-priced clothing.

The economic calendar is bare.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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