File image: IOL
File image: IOL

WATCH: Rand makes incremental gains after a three month low

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Feb 11, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - It was an inside day for the rand as the local unit made incremental gains after hitting a three-month low against the greenback late last week, although an uneventful calendar kept rand bulls at bay. 

The release of unemployment data for Q4 is slated for today, with our forecast for the unemployment rate to remain high at 29 percent. The local calendar will be dominated this week by the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday, with investors eager for clarity on recent comments relating to the possible use of pension funds to reduce energy parastatal Eskom’s debt burden. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.37 percent weaker at R15.04/$, after trading in range of R14.98/$ - R15.10/$. The rand regained in New York trading and steadied in the Asian session. Expected range today R14.85/$ - R15.15/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-0.76 percent) tracked Asian and European stock markets lower yesterday amid lingering fears over the Chinese coronavirus. Large retail (-1.05 percent) and mining (-0.99 percent) shares were among the day’s biggest laggards. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.43 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded softer at the start of this week’s trading, dragged by weak oil demand from China. Meanwhile, markets are waiting to see whether Russia will join the rest of Opec+ in curbing crude output. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 1.38 percent lower at $53.71pb. Crude prices traded higher during Asian trade this morning.

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