File image: IOL
File image: IOL

Rand up against muted dollar

Time of article published Sep 4, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The rand traded a touch firmer during the European session after an abysmal previous session, although the resumption of Stage 4 load-shedding and cautious trade limited the rand’s recovery according to NKC Research.

Soft private sector activity – as captured by the IHS Markit PMI – provided benign support to the local unit, with the index edging up only incrementally to 45.3 in August from 44.9 in June, remaining below the pivotal 50-mark.

On US soil, initial jobless claims for regular state benefits fell 130,000 in the week ended August 29 to 881,000, below expectations for claims of around one million. The data shows that layoffs remain widespread and the recovery in the labour market is occurring at a frustratingly slow pace.

At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.83 percent stronger at R16.73/$, after trading in range of R16.65/$ - R16.90/$. The rand traded steady overnight, and this trend is likely to persist today as markets wait for US non-farm payrolls data to be released later in the day.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-2.40 percent) ended lower yesterday, dragged by losses across the board. Large technology (-4.03 percent) and financial (-2.52 percent) stock were among the day’s biggest laggards. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.90 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil

Brent oil struggled to find any forward momentum yesterday as concerns about fuel demand a and a sluggish global economic recovery weighed down crude prices. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 1.76 percent lower at $43.50/pb.

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