File image: IOL
File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The rand retained negative momentum after a shock GDP release and bizarre comments by the secretary general on Tuesday to trade firmly on the back foot during yesterday’s European session according to NKC Research. 

The rand was left reeling this week as much weaker than expected Q1 GDP figures were followed by misplaced commentary by Ace Magashule that SA may resort to quantitative easing (QE). This represents the latest attack on the central bank’s mandate in a baffling reference to unconventional monetary policy as remedy for an economy hamstrung by supply-side constraints, lack of policy credibility or cohesion, political infighting, weak institutions and struggling sate-owned enterprises. At close of local trade, the rand quoted 1.9 percent weaker at R14.90/$, after trading in range of R14.63/$ - R14.93/$. The rand traded flat overnight. Expected range today R14.65/$ - R15.00/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.8 percent) tracked global stock indices higher yesterday, with large gold (+4.4 percent) and platinum (+3.3 percent) mining shares leading the way. The share prices of Gold Fields (+6.4 percent) Impala Platinum (+4.8 percent), Anglo Gold (+4.2 percent) and Harmony Gold (+3.8 percent) were lifted by higher precious metal prices. Overall in emerging markets, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.1 percent) softened slightly.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price whipsawed yesterday, weighed down by a build-up in US crude inventories, but supported by a rally in global stock markets. At close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 2.0 percent lower at $60.35pb. Crude prices traded little changed during Asian trade this morning.

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