File image: IOL
File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The rand started the European session on the front foot as risk-on sentiment provided support according to NKC Research. 

Appetite for risk assets was boosted by assurances made by the EU on Monday on the Brexit deal, allowing the rand to claw back some losses incurred over previous sessions. However, a turn in risk sentiment weighed on the rand as the European session progressed, and traders opted to cut exposure to riskier assets in favour of the greenback and yen. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.1 percent weaker at R14.29/$, after trading in range of R14.23/$ - R14.37/$. The rand stumbled overnight, as the local unit eyes domestic data releases today and tomorrow. Expected range today R14.30/$ - R14.55/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.2 percent) ended higher yesterday led by gains in large banking (+1.5 percent) and telecom (+2.1 percent) stocks. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+1.0 percent) traded higher. In local news, FirstRand (+2.0 percent) shares roses after it reported a 6 percent rise in half-year profit ended 31 December 2018 amid a “very challenging” economic environment. The headline earnings per share came in at 237.9c for the current reporting period, compared with 224.2c a year earlier.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded higher yesterday buoyed by Saudi supply cuts and lower Venezuelan exports due to power outages. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.5 percent higher at $66.96pb. Crude prices traded little changed during Asian trade this morning.

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