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JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency stumbled after it struggled to hold on to Wednesday’s gains as improving global risk appetite failed to offset some concerns regarding a widening current account shortfall according to NKC Research. 

At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.67 percent weaker at R14.84/$, after trading in range of R14.74/$ - R14.87/$. The rand traded steadier overnight, along with most major currencies, as traders await Fed Chair Powell’s speech today to gauge the pace of easing, including the all-important US jobs data. Expected range today R14.70/$ - R15.05/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+1.04 percent) ended higher as bank (+2.55 percent) stocks led the charge, which appeared to have weathered tough economic conditions this year. Capitec (+4.68 percent) said its headline earnings per share (Heps) for the six months ended 31 August 2019 are expected to be between 2,511 and 2,575 cents per share compared to 2,128 cents a year earlier. Meanwhile, FirstRand (+1.67 percent) announced that its headline earnings rose by 5 percent to R27.9bn in the financial year ended 30 June 2019. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+1.25 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price extended beyond the $60pb-level yesterday amid hopes that a potential resolution for the trade spat between China and the US could soon be reached. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 1.52 percent higher at $61.64pb.

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