File photo: Reuters
File photo: Reuters

WATCH: Rand ticks firmer as retail sales beat expectations

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

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JOHANNESBURG - The rand ticked firmer as retail sales beat expectations. 

At a healthy clip of 2.6 percent y-o-y in November – smashing expectations for an increase of 1.5 percent y-o-y – the November retail sales release was a speckle of sunshine in an otherwise bleak quarter, as souring business sentiment and consumer confidence set the pace for a mediocre Q4 GDP reading. Traders are now turning attention to today’s rate-setting decision, with the Sarb widely expected to hold the repo rate at 6.5 percent. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.32 percent stronger at R14.34/$, after trading in range of R14.33/$ - R14.43/$. The rand traded flat overnight. Expected range today R14.25/$ - R14.45/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.17 percent) ended firmer yesterday, buoyed by large consumer goods (+1.2 percent) stocks. The likes of Pick n Pay (+3.32 percent) and Shoprite (+0.57 percent) shone on the day after retail sales data beat expectations in November. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.51 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price oscillated yesterday as markets waited for US and China to sign the first part of a trade deal. However, gains were kept to a minimum after the US Energy Information Administration said US crude output is expected to rise by 1.06 million bpd this year to reach 13.30 million bpd. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.14 percent lower at $64.25pb. Crude prices traded flat during Asian trade this morning. 

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