Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

WATCH: Rand is expected to remain above the R17.00/$ threshold today

By Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Mar 20, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African rand remained under pressure as the Sarb surprised with larger-than-expected policy easing measures aimed at softening the Covid-19 pandemic landing according to NKC Research. 

Defying expectations of a 50-bps reduction in the repo rate, monetary authorities stepped up the stimulus game with a 100-bps cut to 5.25 percent. A slowdown in inflation and expectations of disinflation in the short term provided shelter for a more accommodative stance, while signalling an about-turn to a decidedly dovish bias as South Africa’s coronavirus cases topped 150. In turn, the greenback mostly posted gains across the board yesterday amid dollar funding shortages. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.48 percent stronger at R17.39/$, after trading in range of R17.07/$ - R17.54/$. The rand traded little changed overnight and is expected to remain above the R17.00/$ threshold today.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-1.66 percent) remained on the back foot yesterday, dragged by losses in large financial (-7.07 percent) and gold mining (-14.07 percent) stocks. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-2.72 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil 

Brent oil could not find a gear yesterday as prices remained stuck in the mid-twenties, amid subdued travel globally. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.19 percent higher at $25.75pb. Crude prices traded notably higher during Asian trade this morning after President Donald Trump hinted that he might intervene in the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. 

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