JSE faces muted Asian markets on Thursday as US jobs data disappoints
The JSE faces muted Asian markets on Thursday morning, with US stocks slipping overnight after a disappointing jobs report.
The US ADP private payrolls report on Wednesday showed employers added 330,000 jobs in July, about half of what was expected and its slowest gain since February. The release comes ahead of the week’s main economic report, that of US nonfarm payrolls numbers on Friday.
“While not always a reliable guide to nonfarm payrolls, the ADP report inevitably will have many questioning the consensus for a private payrolls print of 718,000 on Friday,” said National Australia Bank analyst Rodrigo Catril in a note.
Markets are grappling with another Chinese media report taking aim at online gaming as well, with one publication criticising the addictive nature of games and the favourable tax treatment of developers. This follows another media report that described gaming as “opium”.
In morning trade, the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng were both flat, while Japan’s Nikkei had added 0.46%.
Tencent, which can give direction to the JSE via the Naspers stable, had fallen 1.58%.
Gold was flat at $1,811.31/oz, while platinum had fallen 0.78% to $1,018.23. Brent crude was up 0.41% to $70.58 a barrel.
The rand was little changed at R14.38/$.
The corporate calendar is fairly busy on Thursday, with Sappi, the world’s largest maker of fibres from wood pulp, set to release an update on its third-quarter to end-June later.
Paper and plastics packaging group Mpact is due to release its results for the six months to end-June, saying in a recent trading update it expects headline earnings per share of at least 118c, from 8.4c previously, though it did not go into details.
Paper and packaging group Mondi is due to release its half-year results to end-June later, though it has not issued a trading update recently.
Locally, there is speculation of a cabinet reshuffle, though analysts have noted that the market reaction will depend on how extensive any reshuffle was.
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