File image: The Johannesburg Stock Exchange. (File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko).
JOHANNESBURG - The rand started off the week with some gains yesterday, but Dynamic Outcomes head market analyst James Paynter warned that a bumpy ride should be expected as this could not be one-way traffic.

At 5pm the rand bid 8cents firmer than Friday’s same time bid at R12.65 a dollar. Against the pound sterling the rand was 10c stronger at R16.75 and to the euro, the currency strengthened 5c to R14.70.

Paynter said the market would be watching some key level to confirm whether the preferred wave count would play out.

“Sometimes the outlook is a tad foggy, but at these times more than ever you need to drive with a roadmap, which will keep you focused on key milestones and landmarks until the fog lifts,” he said.

Corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions, Bianca Botes, said a rapidly tightening labour market in the US could see inflation come under pressure and add pressure to the US Federal Reserve to hike interest rates.

“Potential for this hike currently outweighs the trade wars at play. The rand is expected to remain vulnerable with the key level remaining at R12.73 to signal a break weaker,” said Botes.

Senior currency dealer at TreasuryONE, Andre Botha, said: “This week there will be a release of the South African first-quarter gross domestic product number with expectations that the number will be a bit softer than the fourth-quarter number. This could have a negative impact on the rand should the number disappoint but for the most part the rand will be tracking the US dollar as it has done for the past month.”

On the JSE, the blue chip Top40 index added 1.04percent to 51404.55 points, while the broader all share index gained 1.03percent to 57870.89 points.

Top gainers among bourse heavyweights were Sanlam, which grew 4.08percent to R81.20, followed by Steinhoff Africa Retail, up 3.76percent at R17.38. FirstRand increased 3.43percent to R63.35, while RMB Holdings gained 3.77percent to R77 and Capitec Bank scored 3.35percent growth to close at R927.50.

Leading losses among large caps were Mediclinic, which declined 2.46percent to R100, followed by British American Tobacco, down 1.38percent to R637.08. BHP Billiton eased 0.71percent to R289.31.

- BUSINESS REPORT