Picture: 123RF/SOLAR SEVEN
Picture: 123RF/SOLAR SEVEN

The JSE faces firmer Asian markets on Friday morning, with international focus on the US jobs market, while locally Moody’s Investors Service is scheduled to release its latest review of SA’s credit rating. 

The agency has previously opted to delay its review and some analysts do not expect the release to have a major effect on SA assets ahead of the release.

The agencies may wait to see if the government follows through on plans for fiscal consolidation in a highly uncertain political and economic environment. Moody’s has SA at Ba2 with a negative outlook, which is two notches into junk status.

Should the agency deliver a surprise, there may be volatility in the rand however, and it will set the tone for next week.

US markets were firmer overnight, with the Nasdaq snapping a four-session losing streak.

US data releases beat expectations and in a small way probably helped with the positive vibes overnight, said National Australia Bank analyst Rodrigo Catril in a note.

US jobless claims came in less than expected on Thursday, but the main economic release is nonfarm payrolls numbers for April later, which are being closely watched for signs of future monetary policy in the world’s largest economy.

In morning trade the Hang Seng was up 0.46% and the Shanghai Composite 0.43%, while Japan’s Nikkei was flat.

Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE through the Naspers stable, had fallen 0.9%.

Gold was 0.33% higher at $1,830.86/oz while platinum had gained 0.14% to $1.254.23/oz. Brent crude was 0.4% higher at $68.50 a barrel.

The rand was little changed at R14.20/$, having firmed almost 2% over the previous two sessions.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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