JOHANNESBURG - The rand traded on the back foot yesterday after South African Q1 GDP data came in much worse than the market expected, and news that the ruling ANC party wants to expand the Sarb’s mandate to target increased employment according to NKC Research.
At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 1.8 percent weaker at R14.70/$, after trading in range of R14.41/$ - R14.77/$. The rand traded slightly stronger overnight due to USD softness. Expected range today R14.50/$ - R14.75/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (+0.4 percent) ended higher yesterday, boosted by gains in rand hedge shares Richemont (+5.6 percent) and BAT (+3.9 percent) as the local currency fell sharply. However, the weaker rand weighed on banking shares such as Standard Bank (-4.2 percent) and Absa (-4.2 percent). In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.3 percent) traded lower, in line with weaker US share prices (on Monday) and disappointing global manufacturing PMIs.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price initially traded on the back foot yesterday amid rising US fuel inventories and concerns over global growth. However, crude prices received some support in afternoon European trade following news that Russia’s oil output slumped to a three-year low due to the contamination crisis. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.8 percent higher at $61.52pb. Crude prices edged higher during Asian trade this morning.
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