File image: IOL
File image: IOL

WATCH: Rand trades weaker against a strong greenback

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Sep 23, 2019

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JOHANNESBURG - A stronger greenback saw the rand trade steadily weaker as the European session progressed, losing positive momentum imparted earlier by economic stimulus and perceived easing in US-Sino trade tensions according to NKC Research. 

China’s decision to cut its new benchmark interest rate for a second month, albeit marginally so by 5 bps to 4.2 percent, was welcomed by global markets, lifting risk appetite. Global industrial growth and dollar liquidity remain unsupportive for the highest-beta categories. The latest run of Chinese data suggests no imminent industrial recovery (we reduced the growth forecast for this year to 6.1 percent and 5.7 percent in 2020), and this negative outweighs a potential thaw in US-China trade relations. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 1.12 percent weaker at R14.92/$. The rand traded sideways during Asian trade this morning. Expected range today R14.70/$ - R15.00/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.50 percent) ended Friday’s session on the front foot, buoyed by large platinum (+3.88 percent) and gold (+3.41 percent) mining stocks. Meanwhile, Investec (-5.68 percent) cautioned that its headline earnings per share (Heps) could decline by between 15 percent and 18 percent for the six months ending 30 September 2019, due to Brexit uncertainty and an underperforming South African economy. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.46 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price headed for a weekly gain on Friday as markets stabilised following an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.11 percent higher at $64.73pb. Crude prices traded flat during Asian trade this morning.

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