File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The rand eased against the US dollar during European trade on Friday. The South African currency steadied near a one-week low after coming under pressure from a stronger greenback earlier in the week. Emerging currencies were lower in general, amid concerns that the US and China will not resolve some key differences before a new round of US tariffs are set to kick in on March 1. At close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.3 percent stronger at R13.61/$, after trading in range of R13.58/$ - R13.70/$. The rand traded flat overnight. Expected range today R13.50/$ - R13.70/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-1.2 percent) ended lower on Friday dragged by losses in large consumer goods (-1.6 percent) and technology (-1.4 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.6 percent) traded lower. On the local front, a stronger gold price appeared to offset disappointing news from Harmony Gold (+2.8 percent), which said its earnings per share for the for the six months ended 31 December 2018 could be up to 97% on an annual basis.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price recovered somewhat on Friday after plunging the previous session, amid concerns over a US-China trade spat and a deteriorating global economy. At close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures prices quoted 1.1 percent higher at $61.99pb. Crude prices traded slightly lower during Asian trade this morning

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