File image: IOL
File image: IOL

Rand trades on the front foot

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Apr 1, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African rand traded firmer during the European session, having slumped to a record-low earlier this week according to NKC Research. 

Solid Chinese manufacturing data lifted investor sentiment across the spectrum. With South Africans under lockdown order, the severity of the economic pain dealt by the Covid-19 pandemic is becoming increasingly apparent. We forecast that real GDP will contract by 4.9 percent this year – much worse than the contraction in 2009 following the global financial crisis. How South Africa navigates the next two months will be crucial to the recovery trajectory. At close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.64 percent stronger at R17.84/$, after trading in range of R17.68/$ - R18.03/$. The rand fell overnight; expected range today R17.75/$ - R18.10/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+2.48 percent) ended higher yesterday, on the back of better-than-expect Chinese manufacturing data. Meanwhile, local bank (+8.89 percent) and telecommunication (+11.02 percent) stocks were the stand-out sectors of the day. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+1.99 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price remained subdued, despite the leaders of Russia and the US agreeing to talks in a bid to stabilise international oil market. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 1.21 percent lower at $22.77pb. Crude prices vaulted higher during Asian trade this morning.

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