File image: IOL
File image: IOL

WATCH: Rand continues to claw back losses

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Feb 4, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - It turned out to be a mixed day for global currencies according to NKC Research. 

The South African currency regained yesterday after briefly touching R15/$ earlier as markets bet that the coronavirus outbreak would soon hit a crest. Having said that, the rand has tumbled more than 5 percent against the US dollar in 2020 – most of the losses have come following the outbreak of the Chinese virus – and remains at risk of reaching new multi-year lows. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.9 percent stronger at R14.86/$, after trading in range of R14.83/$ - R15.02/$. The rand continued to claw back losses in Asian trade this morning. Expected range today R14.75/$ - R15.00/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-0.45 percent) traded in the red, pulled by large gold mining (-2.52 percent) stocks. In local news, Tongaat Hulett (-63.66 percent) received a drubbing as its shares resumed trading on the JSE yesterday after the company was suspended last year due to accounting irregularities. Speaking at the Mining Indaba, Anglo American’s (-1.05 percent) Chief Executive Mark Cutifani said the company will likely decide this year whether to sell its local thermal coal business. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.19 percent) traded softer.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price entered February firmly on the backfoot, sinking lower during yesterday’s European session, following the steepest monthly decline since 2018. The impact of the coronavirus is weighing on demand for fuel as more flight restrictions are being implemented to prevent the virus from spreading. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.76 percent lower at $55.95pb. Crude prices struggled for traction during Asian trade this morning.

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