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

The South African currency suffered a drubbing, as Eskom stepped up its controlled power cuts due to shortages in the power utility’s generating capacity. Eskom woes and growing pessimism over the state of the global economy caused the rand to hit a 3-week low in risk-off trade. At close of local trade, the rand quoted 1.1 percent weaker at R13.76/$, after trading in range of R13.59/$ - R13.77/$. The rand steadied overnight, but investors will keep a close on eye on today’s manufacturing figures. Expected range today R13.70/$ - R13.90/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.7 percent) ended higher yesterday lifted by shares in large consumer goods (+1.5 percent) and technology (+0.9 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.1 percent) traded little changed, ahead of high-level Sino-US trade talks later the week. In local news, Woolworths (-3.3 percent) ended in the red after investors were taken by surprise when two company directors suddenly resigned, causing markets to speculate.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded sharply lower yesterday due to trade war concerns and rising US drilling operations, with the US rig count standing at 854. At close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.3 percent lower at $62.29pb. Crude prices ticked higher overnight.

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