Photo: File
Photo: File

WATCH: Rand trades on a firmer footing

By Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Jun 18, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The rand traded on a firmer footing as optimism surrounding preliminary results that dexamethasone may be a ‘breakthrough’ drug for the treatment of Covid-19 outweighed concerns of a spike in global second wave infections according to NKC Research. 

Shares of South African pharmaceutical company Aspen, which holds rights to dexamethasone, rallied on Wednesday as WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus applauded the affordable steroid as “the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with Covid-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support.” The preliminary results soothed concerns that a global second wave of infections is building momentum, as authorities in Beijing reintroduced strict lockdown measures after a surge in infections. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.15 percent stronger at R17.18/$, after trading in range of R17.09/$ - R17.28/$. Expected range today R17.00/$ - R17.35/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+3.36 percent) traded on the front foot yesterday, led by gains across the board. In local news, Tongaat Hulett (-1.50 percent) announced yesterday that it would sell some of its eSwatini assets in a bid to reduce company debt. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.48 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded firmer yesterday, driven by hopes of an economic recovery amid renewed optimism over a potential Covid-19 drug. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.96 percent higher at $40.92pb. Crude prices traded flat during Asian trade this morning. 

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