JSE to contend with mixed Asian markets on Friday ahead of US jobs data

The JSE looks set to open to mixed Asian markets on Friday morning, amid some downbeat Chinese data, while all eyes are on a US jobs report later.

Activity in China’s services sector slowed in August, a survey showed on Friday, highlighting the ongoing risks posed by Covid-19.

US nonfarm payrolls for August is due at 2.30pm SA time, and is the week’s main economic event, given investors are still considering the future of US Federal Reserve policy. The ADP jobs report, which has a mixed track record in predicting nonfarms numbers, came at almost half of expectations earlier this week.

Economists expect the nonfarm payrolls numbers to show that employers added 665,000 jobs in August.

“The nonfarm payrolls report is always good for some juicy volatility intra-session, but this one will assume potentially greater importance than usual, as the headline result will go a long way towards solidifying financial markets’ timing of the Federal Reserve taper,” said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley in a note. “Well, that’s the theory anyway,” he said.

In morning trade the Hang Seng was down 0.51% and the Shanghai Composite 0.16%, while Japan’s Nikkei had added 1.71%.

Tencent, which can give direction to the JSE via the Naspers stable, had fallen 1.37%.

Gold had gained 0.17% to $1,812/oz while platinum had gained 0.49% to $1,003.49/oz. Brent crude was 0.19% higher at $72.98 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R14.42/$, having broken an eight-session winning streak on Thursday.

Construction group Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon is due to report results for its year to end-June later, saying in a recent trading update it had returned to headline profit, having battled the effect of cost overruns for a roads project in Australia in the prior comparative period.

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Source: businesslive.co.za