JOHANNESBURG - The rand was undermined by disappointing manufacturing and mining data releases yesterday according to NKC Research.
Eskom announced that it would step up power cuts following a breakdown at the Kusile power plant, which exacerbated a shortfall in the power utility’s generating capacity, adding further pressure on the rand. Meanwhile, risk appetite was dampened by an ongoing drag on a satisfactory conclusion to Brexit. At close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.3 percent weaker at R14.84/$, after trading in range of R14.42/$ - R14.51/$. The rand traded firmer overnight. Expected range today R14.35/$ - R14.50/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (-0.1 percent) ended lower yesterday dragged by losses in large retail (-1.4 percent) and property (-0.8 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.2 percent) traded lower. In local news, Exxaro (+4.3 percent) reported a 7 percent increase in full-year earnings for the year ended 31 December 2018, on the back of higher coal prices. Core headline earnings per share (Heps) rose to 2,159c during the current reporting period compared to 2,011c per share a year earlier.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price traded near four-month highs yesterday, before dipping late in the session following news that a Sino-US summit on trade will not come to fruition in March. At close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.47 percent lower at $67.47pb. Crude prices steadied during Asian trade this morning.
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