JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency was supported somewhat by risk-on sentiment due to confidence that the coronavirus outbreak will be contained, but the local unit ultimately stumbled due to dismal data releases according to NKC Research.
Meanwhile, the domestic economic calendar will be dominated by the State of the Nation Address (SONA), and we will also see mining production data for December. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.42 percent weaker at R14.84/$, after trading in range of R14.72/$ - R14.84/$. The rand extended losses overnight, pressured by a stronger USD. Expected range today R14.50/$ - R14.80/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (+1.34 percent) tracked global stock markets higher yesterday, led by gains across the board. The share price of AngloGold Ashanti (+4.72 percent) closed higher after the gold miner announced yesterday that it would sell its remaining South African assets to Harmony Gold (+3.66 percent) for about $300m. MTN (+6.00 percent) resealed a trading statement for the year ended December 2019, in which the telecommunications firm said it expects headline earnings to rise as much as 50 percent. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.94 percent) traded higher.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price remained firmly on the front foot yesterday, after Beijing reported the lowest daily number of new coronavirus cases since the outbreak began in January. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 1.67 percent higher at $55.90pb. Crude prices traded softer during Asian trade this morning.