The rand experienced a bout of volatility at the end of last week, trading within a relatively wide band according to NKC Research. Photo: AP Photo/Denis Farrell
The rand experienced a bout of volatility at the end of last week, trading within a relatively wide band according to NKC Research. Photo: AP Photo/Denis Farrell

Rand trades on a softer footing

By BR Reporter Time of article published May 17, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - The rand experienced a bout of volatility at the end of last week, trading within a relatively wide band, according to NKC Research.

Friday’s trading capped off a roller-coaster week for the rand, after having dropped below the R14.0/$ threshold earlier in the week before teetering on R14.2/$, following the US inflation print.

The South African Reserve Bank is not expected to deliver any surprises this week, while inflation is also not expected to steal the headlines, with price pressures remaining benign.

However, signs of a potential third wave of Covid-19 infections and further political intrigue could generate volatility.

At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.20 percent weaker at R14.13/$, after trading in range of R14.01/$ to R14.18/$. The rand drifted weaker during this morning’s Asian trading session. The expected range of the rand against the dollar today is from R14.05/$ to R14.25/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.65 percent) gathered momentum at the end of last week, thanks to a 1.49 percent rise in large financial stocks, and following gains in large industrial (+0.89) and gold (+0.81) stocks. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+1.14 percent) strengthened.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded higher on Friday, following the midweek sell-off. Over the past month or so, we have seen continued strength in commodity markets, with a widespread rally taking place across energy, iron ore and base metals.

Oil prices were lifted by the bullish sentiment sweeping through the complex, but prices remain low compared with recent history. Oil demand is recovering quickly and in the key US market, was up 36 percent y-o-y in April. Similarly, in China processing of crude oil was up 17 percent y-o-y in Q1. Global demand is still par though and is expected to take another year or so to get back to 2019 levels.

At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 2.41 percent higher at $68.32pb. Crude prices traded firmer during Asian trade this morning.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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