File image: IOL
File image: IOL

WATCH: Rand runs out of steam while President Ramaphosa delivers SONA

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Feb 14, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African rand was caught between opposing forces yesterday as global risk sentiment soured while domestic data surprised to the upside according to NKC Research. 

A better-than-expected mining production release for December sheltered the local unit from the brunt of the sell-off as a surge in the coronavirus infection rate and deaths clobbered risk assets. Power parastatal Eskom offered voluntary severance packages, with the costs thereof to be recouped from savings “within a year”. Eskom stressed that it would ensure that “no critical skills” will be lost through the offer. However, the rand’s ascent was short-lived as it ran out of steam while the president delivered the Sona. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.40 percent stronger at R14.87/$, after trading in range of R14.83/$ - R14.94/$. The rand oscillated overnight. Expected range today R14.85/$ - R15.10/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.16 percent) bucked the trend of souring risk sentiment as large gold (+2.54 percent) and platinum (+4.32 percent) mining shares led the bourse higher. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.33 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price fell initially as new coronavirus cases surged in China, a situation compounded by downbeat IEA forecasts that showed a drop in crude demand. However, crude prices regained later in the European session. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.92 percent higher at $56.23pb. Crude prices traded little changed during Asian trade this morning.

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