May 22, 2020 / 6:55 AM / 7 days ago

South African Markets - Factors to watch on May 22

The following company announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect South African markets on Friday.

ECONOMIC EVENTS

- S&P Global Ratings expected to publish a review of South Africa’s sovereign rating..

COMPANIES

- Half Year 2020 Pioneer Food Group Ltd Earnings Release.

SOUTH AFRICAN MARKETS

South Africa’s rand rallied on Thursday after the country’s central bank cut its main lending rate by 50 basis points, while stocks fell on concerns over the long-term impact of the new coronavirus and simmering U.S.-China tensions.

On the stock market, the benchmark JSE all-share index fell 2.15% to end at 51,023 points, while the top 40 companies index closed down 2.37% to 47,232 points.

GLOBAL MARKETS

Hong Kong shares tumbled on Friday after Beijing moved to impose a new security law on the city after last year’s pro-democracy unrest, risking fresh protests and further straining fast-deteriorating U.S.-China ties.

WALL STREET

Wall Street ended lower on Thursday, a day after hitting two-month highs, on a fresh wave of China-U.S. tensions that raised doubts about the trade deal reached early this year between the world’s two largest economies.

GOLD

Gold gained on Friday as an escalation in U.S.-China tensions underpinned bullion’s safe-haven appeal, although positive economic indicators after some countries eased lockdowns set up the precious metal for a weekly drop.

EMERGING MARKETS

For the top emerging markets news, double click on

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Some of the main stories out in the South African press:

BUSINESS DAY

- Health minister offers sight of Covid-19 models, but stops short of full disclosure.

- Eskom in a race against time to unbundle by 2021.

BUSINESS REPORT

- Interest rate cut lauded as ‘a gift to struggling homeowners’.

- South African car sales won’t bounce back until at least October: Naamsa.

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