File image: IOL
File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The rand strengthened against the US dollar during yesterday’s European trading session according to NKC Research. 

Broad greenback softness made it easier for the South African currency to dip below the R14/$ level, buoyed by hopes that Wednesday’s national budget would be enough for Moody’s not to place South Africa on negative watch at its next scheduled review of the country’s credit rating on March 29. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.7 percent stronger at R13.92/$, after trading in a range of R13.87/$ - R14.05/$. The rand traded somewhat weaker overnight. Expected range today R13.90/$ - R14.10/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-0.4 percent) ended lower yesterday, dragged lower by losses in mining, telecom and listed property shares. Gold mining shares, such as Harmony (-3.3 percent) and AngloGold Ashanti (-3.4 percent), were among the biggest losers due to a drop in the gold price. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.2 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded little changed yesterday, but remained near highs for 2019 thanks to Opec-led supply cuts and US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.1 percent lower at $67.04pb. Crude prices ticked slightly lower during Asian trade this morning.

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