File image: IOL
File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The rand advanced against the US dollar during Friday’s European trading session according to NKC Research. 

In the absence of any major local data releases, the South African currency looked to offshore developments for direction. Expectations of a more dovish US Fed in 2019 boosted the rand along with other emerging market currencies. However, gains were capped somewhat after the dollar gathered momentum on the back of by strong US job numbers for December. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.9 percent stronger at R14.16/$, after trading in the range of R14.10/$ - R14.37/$. The rand traded stronger overnight following dovish comments by the US Fed Chair over the weekend which weakened the greenback. Expected range today R13.80/$ - R14.10/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.8 percent) ended higher on Friday led by gains in retail (+2 percent) and industrial (+1.6 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (1.6%) traded higher. In local news, large mining houses, such as AngloGold Ashanti (-4.1 percent) and Sibanye Gold (-3 percent) felt the strain of a weaker gold price.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded higher on Friday – in line with an improvement in global stock markets – bolstered by optimism over trade talks between China and the US. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 2.8 percent higher at $57.76/pb. Crude prices traded were little changed during Asian trade this morning.

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