File image: IOL
File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The rand broke through technical resistance to hit the worst level in eight months amid ongoing attacks on central bank independence and perceived deterioration in policy credibility according to NKC Research.

Last week highlighted the dire state of the economy amid abysmal data releases – punctuated by the much-worse-than-expected Q1 GDP release – while political squabbles and a spotlight on struggling parastatals weighed on sentiment. On US soil meanwhile, employment growth cooled markedly with only 75,000 jobs added in May, weighing down the greenback, which caused the rand to strengthen. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 1.0 percent stronger at R14.91/$, after trading in range of R14.90/$ - R15.17/$. However, the local unit weakened over the weekend. Expected range today R14.80/$ - R15.10/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+2.0 percent) ended higher on Friday, thanks to solid gains in large platinum (+3.0 percent) and technology (+2.9 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.5 percent) traded higher. In local news, soaring precious metal prices saw miners Impala Platinum (3.5 percent) and Northam Platinum (+3.5 percent) edge higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price advanced slightly from five-month lows early on Friday, amid expectations that Opec could extend a deal to reduce output. However, uncertainty over global trade kept a tight lid on gains. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.03 percent higher at $62.59pb. Crude prices edged firmer this morning.

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