The JSE faces mixed Asian markets on Friday morning, but the major bourses that were taking losses were down more than 1%, with all eyes on US nonfarm payrolls numbers later.
Expectations are that employers added 700,000 jobs in June, and any significant deviation should prompt market volatility, with the recovery of the US labour market and future of monetary policy having been key drivers of activity so far in 2021.
In morning trade the Shanghai Composite was down 1.58% and the Hang Seng 1.53%, while Japan’s Nikkei added 0.23%.
Tencent, which gives direction to the JSE via the Naspers stable, had lost 0.94%.
Gold was up 0.12% to $1,777.80/$ while platinum had gained 0.73% to $1,091.53/oz. Brent crude was 0.25% higher at $75.79 a barrel.
The rand was 0.27% weaker at R14.48/$, having slipped 1.24% on Thursday, with emerging-market currencies under general pressure.
Over the past few weeks, the dollar has been lifted by the US Federal Reserve’s surprise hawkish shift in June, as well as concerns over the Delta Covid-19 variant which have boosted appetite for safe-haven currencies, said FXTM senior research analyst Lukman Otunuga in a note.
The local corporate and economic calendar is bare on Friday. Local focus is likely to remain on Covid-19, with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases reporting 21,584 new cases on Thursday, with SA’s most economically important province, Gauteng, still the worst affected.