JOHANNESBURG - The rand hovered around the R13.80/$ level during yesterday’s European trading session according to NKC Research.
The South African currency eased after Eskom intensified its controlled power cuts, triggering a sharp selloff in the previous session. In the wake of another buoyant US dollar performance, investors also had to contend with somewhat disappointing local data releases, which showed the official unemployment rate dropped only marginally in Q4 2018, while manufacturing production practically halted on an annual basis in December. At close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.2 percent stronger at R13.76/$, after trading in range of R13.73/$ - R13.85/$. The rand traded firmer overnight. Expected range today R13.60/$ - R13.80/$
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (+1.0 percent) ended higher yesterday led by gains in large consumer goods (+1.5 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.7 percent) traded higher. In local news, Spar (+5.1 percent) shares rose after the retailer reported that its South African operations helped to secure an 8.2 percent increase in sales for the 17-weeks ended 26 January 2019.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price jumped higher yesterday, supported by Opec-led production cuts, which the Saudis said they would top by more than half a million barrels per day, coupled with US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. At close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 2.1 percent higher at $63.08pb. Crude prices whipsawed during Asian trade this morning.
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