File image: IOL
File image: IOL

WATCH: Rand trades sideways in the wake of Fitch Ratings decision

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Dec 20, 2019

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African rand traded mostly sideways in the wake of Fitch Rating’s decision on Wednesday to maintain the sovereign credit rating according to NKC Research. 

While remaining upbeat, the local unit digested international news dominated by the vote to impeach US President Donald Trump. On the economic calendar, currency markets looked towards US jobs data, with initial jobless claims falling by 18000 to 234000 in the week ended December 14, higher than our estimate of 222000 and the consensus call of 225000. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.07 percent stronger at R14.29/$, after trading in range of R14.19/$ - R14.29/$. The rand traded flat during early Asian trade this morning. Expected range today R14.10/$ - R14.35/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-0.36 percent) ended lower yesterday, dragged mostly by financial stocks (-1.05 percent), as traders sign off for the December holidays. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.23 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price rose after trading in tight ranges for most of yesterday’s session. Thawing Sino-US trade tensions and lower US crude stockpiles lent support, which saw crude prices hover near a three-month high. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.32 percent higher at $66.41pb. Crude prices traded firmer during Asian trade this morning. 

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