The Nikkei share average advanced the tenth straight trading session on Friday, tracking the gains on Wall Street overnight on the back of upbeat U.S. economic data but trading was subdued ahead of the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
The Hang Seng Index, as well as the Shanghai Composite Index edged higher on Friday, supported by blue-chip shares and other Asian markets after upbeat U.S. economic data sparked another record close on Wall Street.
According to Reuters, European markets are expected to edge slightly lower on Friday, pausing after a brisk two-week rally, with investors turning cautious ahead of a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, while disappointing Chinese PMI manufacturing data yesterday, the world's biggest metals consumer could still put a dampener on mining shares.
Reuters reports that U.S. markets closed higher on Thursday with the S&P 500 Index ending above its previous record high on the back of positive economic data, while investors shifted their focus to the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for clues on any interest-rate hikes in the near future.
Business Day reports that the JSE All Share Index closed relatively unchanged on Thursday as advances in banking shares were offset by losses in platinum and gold mining shares.
The Rand was last trading firmer at R10.6878 against the US Dollar, with the Euro quoted stronger at R14.1978 and the British Pound at R176870.
The gold price traded steady at a two-month low in Singapore on Friday with strong U.S. economic data and fears that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than expected hurting investor sentiment towards the precious metal. Gold was last trading at $1,280.31, with the platinum price quoted at $1,419.50, while the palladium price was last trading at the $879.00 level.
Brent was last trading slightly higher at $102.48 a barrel.