File image: IOL
File image: IOL

WATCH: Rand surrenders initial gains

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

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency started the session on the front foot – but fell out of favour soon after – as a wave of optimism surrounding the signing of the US-Sino trade deal boosted risk appetite. 

However, operational issues at Eskom weighed on local sentiment, which led to the rand surrendering initial gains. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.86 percent weaker at R14.44/$, after trading in range of R14.28/$ - R14.44/$. The rand regained composure during New York trading hours as the greenback slipped, and was steady throughout this morning’s Asian session. Expected range today R14.30/$ - R14.55/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.15 percent) ended the day little changed, in an up and down session yesterday. In local news, Massmart Holdings (+5.80 percent) – majority owned by US retail giant Walmart – said it could cut up to 1,440 jobs as the group looks into the closure of nearly 34 underperforming stores. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.91 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded in a narrow band for most of yesterday’s session, as traders directed their attention away from easing tensions in the Middle East towards the ratification of a ‘phase one’ US-China trade deal. However, gains were kept in check as details surrounding the deal remain scarce. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.77 percent lower at $64.53pb. Crude prices traded little changed during Asian trade this morning. 

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