File picture: Denis Farrell/AP
File picture: Denis Farrell/AP

WATCH: Rand continues to drift weaker overnight

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Dec 18, 2019

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency rode the tailwinds of an interim deal between Washington and Beijing, at the start of a shorthand trading week, sheltering the local unit from domestic woes according to NKC Research. 

The mood was however tempered by fears of Brexit cliff-edge risk after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out an extended deal with the European Union. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.45 percent weaker at R14.42/$, after trading in range of R14.33/$ - R14.44/$. The rand continued to drift weaker overnight. Expected range today R14.30/$ - R14.55/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+1.02 percent) ended higher yesterday, led by gains across the board as Eskom fears subsided somewhat, with the national power grid exhibiting stability for now. In local news, Sasol (+11.69 percent) stock soared after the company announced that production at its Ethane Cracker in the US is rising following repair work. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+1.35 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded higher, supported by hopes of increased demand following the announcement of a ‘phase one’ trade deal last week. However, a surprise build-up in US crude inventories kept gains to a minimum. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.50 percent higher at $65.74pb. Crude prices traded softer during Asian trade this morning.

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