File photo: Reuters
File photo: Reuters

WATCH: Rand inches firmer this morning

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Jan 20, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency tiptoed weaker as a surprise rate cut earlier last week and a slew of disappointing data weighed according to NKC Research.

Slightly-better-than-expected Chinese industrial production and an in-line Q4 GDP data release for the Asian giant boosted global sentiment, although the rand failed to build on this amid domestic woes. The mining and manufacturing sectors continue to struggle while consumer confidence lingers around two-year lows. Given that these figures do not yet take into account the unprecedented load-shedding observed in December, the probability that the South African economy entered a technical recession during the final quarter of 2019 has increased significantly. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.29 percent weaker at R14.43/$, after trading in range of R14.36/$ - R14.46/$. The rand inched firmer this morning. Expected range today R14.35/$ - R14.55/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+1.35 percent) picked up where it left off on Thursday as the bourse rallied to its highest level since June last year, driven by gains in large consumer goods (+3.81 percent) and technology (+2.25 percent) stocks. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.54 percent) traded higher.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price followed global stock markets higher on Friday amid renewed trade optimism. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.33 percent higher at $64.80pb. Crude prices leapt higher after two Libyan production bases were forced to shut operations due to a military blockade.

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