WATCH: Rand quotes weaker at close of trade
JOHANNESBURG - The South African rand was swept away by another wave of global risk aversion related to coronavirus pandemic fears according to NKC Research.
Set against a backdrop of thin trading volumes, due to Lunar New Year celebrations, negative momentum from a weaker offshore yuan spilt over to the risk-sensitive South African unit as markets assess the potential economic impact of the virus. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.71 percent weaker at R14.56/$, after trading in range of R14.42/$ - R14.63/$. The rand extended losses during New York trading, but steadied in Asian trade this morning. This week traders will turn their attention to the first FOMC meeting of the year – the Federal Reserve is all but certain to hold rates steady on Wednesday. Expected range today R14.45/$ - R14.75/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (-2.37 percent) fell sharply as the impact of the coronavirus seemed to intensify. In local news, Woolworths (-3.15 percent) warned that half-year earnings could slump by as much as 20 percent during the period ended December 2019, as its Australian business continues to struggle. Sasol (-3.73 percent) said it’s planning a secondary listing on the new independent licensed stock exchange, A2X. The listing would take effect from February 3, while the petrochemicals group retains its primary listing on the JSE and its listing on the New York Stock Exchange. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-1.47 percent) traded lower.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price oscillated during yesterday’s session as a spreading virus in China fuelled expectations of weaker oil demand. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.44 percent higher at $59.60pb. Crude prices traded little changed during Asian trade this morning.
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