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JOHANNESBURG - The rand traded somewhat weaker versus the US dollar during yesterday’s European trading session according to NKC Research. 

The South African currency was fairly muted but edged weaker ahead of new minister of finance Tito Mboweni’s maiden medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) today. Emerging market currencies were generally weaker as the optimism over Chinese stimulus faded. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.5 percent weaker at R14.43/$, after trading in the range of R14.32/$ - R14.44/$. The rand traded stronger overnight. Expected range today R14.00/$ - R14.40/$.

South African bourse

JSE All Share (-2 percent) ended lower yesterday dragged by losses in large industrial (-2.2 percent) and retail (-1.8 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-2.3 percent) traded lower. In local news, market heavy weights; Aspen (-5.3 percent) and Naspers (-4.6 percent) were among the day’s biggest laggards.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded lower yesterday as fears of a shortage in crude supply eased, after Saudi Arabia said it would bump up its crude output more rapidly if needed. At close of local trade, the Brent oil price quoted 2.3 percent lower at $77.63/pb. Crude prices edged weaker during Asian trade this morning.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE