Rand struggles against resilient dollar
JOHANNESBURG - The rand struggled against a resilient greenback and rising odds for a rate cut at this week’s MPC meeting dulled appeal for the local unit according to NKC Research.
On the global front, there has already been some initial pushback to parts of President-elect Biden’s $1.9trn Covid-19 relief package from Republicans, and questions about the prospects for passage of the full plan sparked some of the initial risk-off trade last week.
Deficits are likely to acquire renewed importance as a driver of the dollar in the wake of a Democrat sweep in the US, as there is an increased likelihood of wide fiscal deficits persisting for longer.
Furthermore, a strong economic recovery would put pressure on the US Federal Reserve to adapt its policy stance, which in turn could lead US real yields to move higher supporting the dollar. However, the recent taper-chatter experience suggests the Fed will likely err on the side of caution.
At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 1.13 percent weaker at R15.27/$, after trading in range of R15.02/$ - R15.30/$. The rand traded softer this morning. Expected range today R15.10/$ - R15.50/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (-0.10 percent) retreated from record highs during Friday’s session as large financial (-1.16 percent) stocks weighed on the local bourse. In local news, South African Breweries (SAB) cancelled an additional R2.5bn ($165m) in capital investment earmarked for 2021, citing the adverse impact of the alcohol ban under the adjusted level 3 lockdown. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.15 percent) traded higher.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price dropped at the end of last week as lockdowns across Chinese cities sparked concern over future fuel demand. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.77 percent weaker at $55.11pb. Crude prices traded flat during Asian trading.