File image: IOL
File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The rand opened Wednesday on a firmer footing, after sneaking below the R14/$ brink during the previous evening according to NKC Research.

The South African CPI inflation and retail sales figures released yesterday were somewhat better than expected, providing some support to the local unit. However, a resurgence in USD strength late in the day pushed the rand weaker. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.15 percent weaker at R13.97/$, after trading in range of R13.93/$ - R14.05/$. The rand traded little changed overnight. Expected range today R13.90/$ - R14.10/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share closed basically unchanged yesterday as gains in healthcare and telecom goods sector shares were offset by losses in basic material and consumer non-cyclical sector shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.3 percent) traded higher. In local news, Sibanye-Stillwater (+6.6 percent) shone brighter after the miner announced the five-month strike at its South African gold operations has ended. Royal Bafokeng Platinum (+5.2 percent) reported a 13.6 percent increase in platinum metal in concentrate for the period January - March 2019.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded lower yesterday, giving back some of the previous day’s large gains amid news of record US shale exports in February. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.68 percent lower at $71.52pb. Crude prices traded higher during Asian trade this morning.

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