US Jobs Data Boosts Markets, Asia Stock Gains Ease in Thin Volume; Oil Slips

03/07/2020 The local currency climbed to its strongest level in three weeks on Thursday, breaching 17 per dollar, after South Africa posted its first current-account surplus in 17 years. Rand up 0.4% to 16.9761 per US$, while the Yield on 10 year govt rand bonds rose 2.7 bps to 9.252%. JSE/All-Share gained 1.54% to 54,617.19 points and the Top-40 1.49% as market participants appetite for riskier assets got lifted by positive economic data, although the rising global number of Covid-19 cases remains a threat. Financials added 2.12%.

• (ASC SJ): South Africa’s Ascendis Restarts Sale of Remedica Pharma Unit
• (GLEN LN): Glencore Unit Says Two People Dead in Oil-Refinery
• (NHM SJ): Northam Buys an Extra 959.7m Rand of Zambezi Preference Shares
• 9:15am: (SA) June Standard Bank South Africa PMI, est. 37, prior 32.5
• 9am: National Treasury officials to brief lawmakers in Cape Town on the 2020 revised fiscal framework
• 10am: President Cyril Ramaphosa visits Ehlanzeni District Municipality to assess the Mpumalanga province’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
• 10am: South Africa’s judicial inquiry into allegations of corruption, led by Deputy Judge President Raymond Zondo, continues its hearings in Johannesburg

Annual general meetings: CTK SJ
We are likely to follow Asian markets this morning at the opening, with the IG futures indicating Top 40 up 20 points.

The FTSE 100 ended the session up 1.34% following the release of better-than-expected US non-farm payrolls figures for June. The German Dax jumped by 2.84% alongside, while the CAC-40 managed to advance 2.50% at the close of trading for the day. Analysts, and investors alike, remain cautious regarding the near-term outlook for America’s jobs market given the possibility that the re-imposition of measures to brake fresh Covid-19 outbreaks in various US states might result in slower jobs growth. European markets are expected top open flat with the FTSE seen -5 points and the DAX – 24 points as U.S goes for long-weekend holiday.

The Dow closed 92.39 points higher on Thursday, erasing losses recorded in the prior session. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite continued to push higher, closing firmer 0.45% and 0.52% respectively. Sentiment continued to be boosted by the clinical trial results during the last day’s trading for the week, with Pfizer and BioNTech providing hope to investors that normality could indeed return at some point. U.S. futures are flat this morning ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Dow futures were down about 20 points, or 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures +14.5 points, or 0.45%. Markets will be closed Friday for the Fourth of July.

Markets advanced in Asia on Friday following a Wall Street rally and China’s June Caixin services PMI hitting 10-year high. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index picked up 0.41%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.75% while the Shanghai Composite index jumped 1.18%. Australia’s ASX 200 is seen flat-0.05%. China services purchasing managers index rose to 58.4 in June from 55.0 in May. The reading came in far above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction, signalling rapid month-on-month expansion.

Oil prices eased on Friday as the resurgence of the coronavirus globally and in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, stoked worries that a fuel demand recovery could stall. Brent futures were down 29 cents, or 0.7%, at $42. and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 31 cents, or 0.8%, to $40.34 a barrel.