File image: IOL
File image: IOL

WATCH: Rand extends gains with the greenback losing momentum

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published May 8, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency found comfort in a softer dollar and thawing risk appetite to soothe the bruise left by weaker-than-expected business confidence data according to NKC Research. 

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Business Confidence Index (BCI) plunged to an all-time low of 77.8 in reflection of the economic pain imparted by strict lockdown measures. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.15 percent stronger at R18.64/$, after trading in a range of R18.52/$ - R18.82/$. The rand extend gains this morning, with the greenback losing momentum ahead of today’s US non-farm payrolls. Expected range today R18.00/$ - R18.60/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.38 percent) ended firmer yesterday, in step with European and US stock indices. In local news, Anglo American (+4.15 percent) confirmed plans to exit coal mining projects in South Africa as it shifts away from coal assets towards cleaner energy sources. The company announced yesterday that “we are therefore working towards a possible demerger of our thermal coal operations in South Africa as our likely preferred exit option, expected in the next two to three years, with a primary listing in the JSE for the de-merged business.” In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.20 percent) traded weaker.

Brent crude oil

An unexpected jump in Chinese exports pushed the Brent oil price higher yesterday, but dreary US jobs data trimmed gains towards the end of European trade. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 4.57 percent higher at $30.69pb. Crude prices regained modestly during Asian trade this morning.

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