File image: IOL
File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The rand pulled back from its strongest level in nearly four months during Friday’s European trading session according to NKC Research. 

The South African currency traded on the back foot as emerging market sentiment deteriorated due to weak Chinese manufacturing sector data for November. On the local data front, a wider-than-expected trade deficit was recorded in October which also weighed on the rand. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.8 percent weaker at R13.77/$, after trading in the range of R13.64/$ - R13.79/$. The traded slightly stronger this morning following news of US-China trade war truce. Expected range today R13.60/$ - R13.90/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-2.1 percent) closed weaker on Friday dragged by losses across the board, after nearly all sectors ended lower. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.33 percent) traded lower. In local news, Naspers (-2 percent) ended the day lower, despite reporting a 39 percent jump in its half-year profit. The media giant announced that core headline earnings increased from 277 cents per share in 2017 to 385 cents per share, during the half-year ended September 2018.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded lower on Friday, as growing crude inventories dampened market sentiment. At the close of local trade, the Brent oil price quoted 2.1 percent weaker at $58.31/pb. Crude prices rallied to above $60/pb this morning on the back of optimism over the latest US-Sino trade truce.

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