JOHANNESBURG - The rand ticked weaker during yesterday’s session as traders digested US monetary policy and liquidity conditions started to normalise after a public holiday in South Africa on Wednesday according to NKC Research.
A more hawkish statement by the Fed – although markets weren’t surprised by the decision to hold rates – saw dollar bears trim net short positions following Chair Powell’s comments on May 1. Meanwhile, South Africa will be turning to the polls next week, with our base view seeing the ruling ANC retaining power with around 60 percent of the vote, against a backdrop of weak Q1 growth and higher living costs. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.8 percent weaker at R14.54/$, after trading in range of R14.41/$ - R14.56/$. The rand traded little changed overnight. Expected range today R14.40/$ - R14.55/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (0.4 percent) ended in positive territory despite large gold (-3.4 percent) and platinum (-2.1 percent) mining shares keeping a lid on gains. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.1 percent) traded lower. In local news, Sibanye Stillwater (-6.1 percent), Harmony Gold (-5.1 percent) and Northam Platinum (-4.0 percent) lost their shine, in line with glum precious metal prices.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price traded lower yesterday, as rising US crude output caused US stockpiles to increase by 9.9 million barrels to its highest level since September 2017, last week. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 2.1 percent lower at $70.4pb.
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