Picture: 123RF/POP NUKOONRAT
Picture: 123RF/POP NUKOONRAT

The JSE faces a mostly positive session on Asian markets on Monday morning, with the threat of Covid-19 and the future of monetary policy still the major themes occupying investors’ minds.

US nonfarm payrolls came in well short of expectations on Friday, but did show strong wage growth, once again underscoring how the pandemic is threatening economic recovery.

Friday’s US employment data substantially lowered the risks of a US Federal tapering this year, which is playing out well in Asian equity markets, Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said in a note.

US markets are closed on Monday, which should subdue trade somewhat, while general focus this week will be on central bank activity, notably the European Central Bank’s policy announcement on Thursday.

In morning trade Japan’s Nikkei added 1.71% and the Shanghai Composite 1.01%, while the Hang Seng was up 0.45%.

Tencent, which can give direction to the JSE via the Naspers stable, gained 2.87%.

Gold was flat at $1,826.06/oz while platinum was little changed at $71.77. Brent crude was 1.47% lower at $71.77 a barrel.

The rand was 0.14% weaker at R14.32/$.

RCL Foods, owner of brands such as Selati sugar, Nola mayonnaise and Ouma rusks, is due to to report a more than eight-fold jump in headline earnings per share for its year to end-June later, saying it experienced a strong performance in its sugar and baking divisions.

The group, which is the biggest supplier of chicken to outlets such as Nandos, had been initially hit hard by Covid-19, with restaurants temporarily closed and supply shunted into the lower-margin frozen chicken market.

Consumer goods group AVI — the owner of footwear retailer Spitz stores, Five Roses tea, and seafood company I&J — is expected to report only marginal revenue growth for its year to end-June later, saying in a recent update that focus on cost helped with operating profit growth.

I&J achieved better results in the fishing and abalone operations, resulting in a significant contribution to revenue and profit growth for the second half and the full year, the group said, though it experienced pressure on volumes elsewhere.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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