File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency traded sharply weaker during Thursday’s European trading session, despite some positive local data releases according to NKC Resaerch. 

The rand was little moved after news that the current account deficit narrowed and that the parastatal Eskom was granted lower tariff increases in the medium term than what it had requested. A dovish ECB announcement did not lift the rand’s spirit, but rather reduced risk sentiment which sent in reeling. At close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.9 percent weaker at R14.39/$, after trading in range of R14.21/$ - R14.39/$. The rand fell further after the close of trade but stabilised this morning. Expected range today R14.40/$ - R14.65/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-0.4 percent) ended lower yesterday dragged by losses in large technology (-2.8 percent) and industrial (-1.2 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-1.2 percent) traded lower. In local news, Standard Bank’s (-3 percent) headline earnings per share for the year ended 31 December 2018 rose by 7 percent to 1,748 cents on an annual basis.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price initially rose on expectations of tighter markets but fell late in the day due to a sharply stronger USD and growing global growth concerns. At close of local trade, the Brent oil price quoted -0.2% lower at $66.05pb. Crude prices fell further during Asian trade this morning.

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