Asian Markets, U.S. Futures Advance on Stimulus Talks

19/10/2020 The JSE closed firmer last Friday gaining 0.37% to 55,047.26, shedding 0.25% for the week, as investors mulled a week driven by US political uncertainty and the continued threat of Covid-19. The Top-40 index advanced 0.38%, with platinum miners making the most gains. Industrials slipped 0.555%, and banks gave up 1.69%. The local currency was range bound for most part of the day 16.54/6400 to the dollar. Stock markets climbed across Asia with those in Japan outperforming. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi set a Tuesday deadline for more progress with the White House after lengthy discussions at the weekend with the U.S. Treasury Secretary. U.S. futures rose amid optimism about some progress on stimulus talks in Washington. Tencent 700HK 0.63% firmer on China growth data.

NEWS:
• Finance Minister Tito Mboweni pushed the MTBPS back by a week to October 28
• Health minister Zweli Mkhize and his wife test positive for Covid-19
EQUITY PREVIEW:
• (AFX SJ): Linde to Make Offer to Afrox Shareholders at 21.18 Rand Cash
• (GLEN LN): Peru Community Blocks Road Affecting Mines: Republica
• (GFI SJ): Gold Fields CEO Nicholas Holland gives update on key ESG developments
• (OMN SJ): OMNIA TO SELL ORO AGRI FOR BASE PRICE $146.9M
ECONOMIC DATA:
• 9am: (SA) Bloomberg Oct. South Africa Economic Survey
GOVERNMENT:
• State Capture Commission hears testimony from former Transnet board chairman, Mafika Mkwanazi and Siyabonga Mahlangu, an adviser to former Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba

EU/UK/US
European markets finished in positive territory on Friday, as investors weighed concerns about tightening Covid-19 restrictions with positive developments on the vaccine front. LVMH shares hit their highest level since January, after the firm benefited from a rebound in appetite for Louis Vuitton goods in the third quarter. Hermes International, Burberry, Kering and Christian Dior all rose on the news. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended up almost 1.26%, alongside the Dax gaining by 1.62%. London’s FTSE100 ended the session up 1.49%, with CAC-40 rising 2.03%. The Dow Jones opened 316.69 points higher on Friday, reversing losses seen in the previous session. Pfizer had announced that it, together with BioNTech, might be ready to file for emergency use authorisation of the drug with US regulators in roughly one month’s time. By the end of trading, Wall Street closed mixed as big technology companies dropped. The Dax advanced 112 points, or 0.39%, at the close, with the S&P 500 closing flat 0.01, while the Nasdaq dropped 0.36%. This moening Dow futures firmely in the green 0.67%, alongside the S&P 500 gaining 0.76%, with the Nasdaq futures bouncing at 0.83%.

Here are some key events this week:
• Australia central bank minutes are out Tuesday.
• Brexit trade talks are likely to continue at least into next week if the U.K. and EU fail to reach an agreement.
• The final presidential debate before the U.S. election, between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, will be live from Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday.

ASIA/COMMODITIES
Markets advanced in Asia on Monday after China reported its economy grew at a 4.9% annual pace in the last quarter, versus 5.5% survey, with consumer spending and industrial production rising to pre-pandemic levels.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.74% while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.32. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.2% while. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.85%. Oil prices fell on Monday after reports that China’s third-quarter economic growth did not rise as much as expected. Brent crude futures slipped 0.21% to $42.84, while U.S. WTI was at $40.78 a barrel, down 0.24%.