The government needs to make difficult and unpleasant economic decisions if it wants to avoid a recession, economists warn. File picture: Denis Farrell/AP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency fell to a two-week low yesterday as domestic production data disappointed while ongoing rolling power outages shone the spotlight on a faltering economy according to NKC Research. 

However, traders remain cautious of taking large positions ahead of the US FOMC meeting. After reducing the Fed funds target range by a cumulative 75 bps in 2019 to 1.5 percent - 1.75 percent, the FOMC has shifted to a wait-and-see policy stance. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 1.2 percent weaker at R14.84/$, after trading in range of R14.62/$ - R14.84/$. The rand ticked lightly firmer overnight, as it regained composure ahead of a busier-than-usual day. The expected range of the rand against the dollar today is R14.65/$ - R14.95/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.27 percent) ended higher yesterday, lifted by large gold mining (+3.64 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.15 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price whipsawed yesterday as it struggled to gain traction. The latest American Petroleum Institute data showed that US crude inventories rose by 1.4 million barrels to 447 million in the week ended December 6. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.09 percent higher at $64.21pb. Crude prices traded weaker during Asian trade this morning.

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