JSE faces higher Asian markets on Friday amid economic recovery hopes

The JSE could benefit from higher Asian markets on Friday morning, with sentiment boosted a bit by economic data pointing to a US economic recovery.

Weekly jobless claims fell more than expected earlier in May, US data showed on Thursday, falling to a pandemic-era low, with analysts saying this pointed to a reluctance of businesses to let go of staff.

Focus on Friday will, however, be on US personal consumption expenditures data for April, which is the US Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation. The consensus is for an acceleration to 2.9%.

“If this report meets or exceeds expectations, it could compound the inflation fears and speculation over the Federal Reserve acting sooner rather than later,” said FXTM senior research analyst Lukman Otunuga in a note.

In morning trade Japan’s Nikkei was up 2.16% and the Hang Seng 0.63%.

Tencent, which gives direction to the local market through the Naspers stable, had risen 0.5%.

Gold was 0.12% lower at $1,894.07/oz while platinum had risen 0.57% to $1,183.26/oz. Brent crude was 0.49% higher at $69.74 a barrel.

The rand was 0.13% weaker at R13.76/$, but has powered to about a two-year high against the dollar this week, with easing inflation fears in the US putting pressure on that currency.

Packaging group Nampak is scheduled to release its results for the six months to end-March later, with earnings expected to show improvement from the prior year when the group wrote down assets in Nigeria and Angola.

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Source: businesslive.co.za