South Africa’s hedge fund industry is betting on new rules to help reverse a record drop in assets under management. File Photo: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency traded on a firmer footing as US-Sino trade optimism lifted the rand to a one-week high during the early session, with investors shrugging off local woes related to the struggling national carrier as the union workers’ strike commenced according to NKC Research .

Trade optimism returned to the market after a US official said that a trade deal with Beijing was getting close, which spurred risk buying across the board. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.59 percent stronger at R14.70/$, after trading in range of R14.68/$ - R14.84/$. The rand traded flat this morning. Expected range today R14.60/$ - R14.90/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share ended lower last week, dragged by large technology and industrial shares. In local news, Steinhoff (-1.06 percent) announced that it had sold Blue Group, owner of Bensons for Beds and Harveys Furniture to European retail investor, Alteri for an undisclosed amount. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.63 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price whipsawed on Friday, as markets digested White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow’s seemingly positive remarks on US-China trade, amid concerns of rising global crude supply. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.21 percent lower at $62.38pb. Crude prices traded steady during Asian trade this morning.

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