JOHANNESBURG - The rand traded in a narrow range during European trade yesterday but remained on the front foot according to NKC Research.
The South African currency steadied following last week’s strong run after the US Fed chair Jerome Powell hinted that the central bank may adopt a more cautious outlook. The Fed’s dovish noises also provided support to other emerging market currencies. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.4 percent stronger at R13.86/$, after trading in the range of R13.84/$ - R13.97/$. The rand traded slightly weaker overnight as the dollar pared some losses on renewed optimism over the strength of the US economy. Expected range today R13.80/$ - R14.05/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (-0.6 percent) ended lower yesterday dragged lower by losses in large consumer goods (-1.5 percent) and industrial (-1.1 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+1.4 percent) traded higher. In local news; while Sasol (-1.5 percent) benefited from stronger oil prices, heavyweights such as British American Tobacco (-5.3 percent) and Naspers (-1.1 percent) pulled the All Share down.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price maintained an upward trend recovering from depressed price levels. Upbeat stock markets and expectations of constructive trade talks between China and the US led the oil price higher. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.5 percent higher at $58.1/pb. Crude prices traded slightly lower during Asian trade this morning amid a stronger dollar.
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