File image: IOL
File image: IOL

WATCH: Rand edges firmer thanks to a softer dollar

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency steadied as the broadly soft dollar offered reprieve, while markets digested the lockdown instruction announced Monday evening according to NKC Research. 

South Africa will go into lockdown mode from midnight on Thursday for a period of 21 days, a move which was broadly welcomed as confirmed Covid-19 cases continue to rise. The rand stares down a momentous week as Moody’s is expected to cut the cord on South Africa’s investment grade status on Friday. However, a growing number of analysts suggest that the worsening global coronavirus pandemic may award South Africa a stay of execution as Moody’s may opt to delay a rating action. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.19 percent stronger at R17.61/$, after trading in range of R17.53/$ - R17.84/$. The rand traded softer overnight. Expected range today R17.40/$ - R17.80/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+7.53 percent) tracked global stock markets higher yesterday on the back of stimulus hopes. Gains were recorded across the board, but large gold (+13.13 percent) and platinum (+16.63 percent) mining shares were the day’s bright spots. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+5.7 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price remained flat footed yesterday after economic support measures in the US hoisted crude higher on Monday. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 1.50 percent lower at $27.62pb. Crude prices traded stronger during Asian trade this morning.

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