File image: IOL
File image: IOL

WATCH: Rand steadies to catch breath after a tumultuous week

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Mar 16, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency steadied to catch breath after a tumultuous week, supported by partial overturn of Thursday’s sharp sell-off across global markets according to NKC Research. 

However, uncertain times still lie ahead for the fragile rand. While global liquidity injections will mitigate some panic, the limited policy space on the international arena – with rates already so low – means scope for policymakers to ease the debt burden on firms via rate cuts is considerably less than a decade ago. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 1.32 percent stronger at R16.20/$, after trading in range of R16.03/$ - R16.61/$. The rand whipsawed during Asian trade this morning as we enter the new and potentially volatile week. Expected range today R16.15/$ - R16.65/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-0.28 percent) ended lower Friday, following a disappointing week. In local news, Telkom (-16.93 percent) has proposed to slash nearly 20 percent of its workforce, which the local telecom firm said would have a negative impact on its earnings for the 2020 financial year. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.91 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price gained initially on Friday but ran out of momentum when the New York trading began as crude suffered its worst decline since 2008. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.33 percent higher at $34.18pb. Crude prices remained on the back foot during Asian trading. 

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