Rand continues to strengthen against the greenback
JOHANNESBURG - The South African rand ended the week on a strong footing, briefly teetering on the R15.5/$ threshold before giving up some gains towards the end of the European session according to NKC Research.
While gaining some ground towards the end of the week, Friday’s trading level was still far from the R15.2/$ rates seen on Monday. The day saw no significant domestic data releases but news that African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Ace Magashule was granted bail of R200,000 and is set to appear before the court on February portends a very tense political environment in coming months. Mr Magashule, one of the top six most powerful officials in the country, is facing 21 charges of corruption and fraud.
At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.55 percent stronger at R15.57/$, after trading in range of R15.54/$ - R15.69/$. The rand inched stronger during Asian trading this morning. Expected range today R14.20/$ - R14.50/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (+0.88 percent) ended higher on Friday, led by gains in large technology and industrial stocks. On the news front, shares of Botswana’s budget supermarket chain Choppies Enterprises (-20.0 percent) resumed trading on the JSE on Friday after failing to publish financial results before, which led to a two-year suspension. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.60 percent) traded higher.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price plunged during Friday’s European trading session due to fears of a slower global economic recovery as coronavirus cases surged across the globe. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 2.98 percent lower at $42.98pb. Crude prices recovered during Asian trade this morning after 15 Asia-Pacific nations signed a major trade deal on Sunday. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is now the world’s largest trade alliance.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE