File image: IOL
File image: IOL

WATCH: Rand trades flat this morning

By Compiled by Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Jan 29, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The local unit whipsawed yesterday but managed to recover modestly when the European session ended, after hitting a six-week low during the preceding session, worsened by lower global trade volumes due to the Lunar New Year holiday season according to NKC Research. 

Fragile sentiment due to pandemic fears related to the coronavirus – which has already claimed more than 100 lives – weighed on the risk-sensitive rand, adding to cautious anticipation of Wednesday’s release of the US FOMC announcement. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.38 percent weaker at R14.63/$, after trading in range of R14.54/$ - R14.71/$. The rand was flat this morning. Expected range today R14.40/$ - R14.65/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-0.28 percent) ended in the red yesterday. dragged lower mostly by large gold mining (-3.61 percent) shares. The share price of Blue Label Telecoms (-13.52 percent) plunged steeply after it reported that Cell C, of which it holds a majority stake, has defaulted on multiple debt repayments. Cell C is SA’s third largest mobile operator but has been battling to improve its liquidity and debt profile. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.11 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price trended in a narrow band as it steadied from a five-day losing streak, albeit unable to breach the $60pb level, as traders try to gauge the potential impact of the virus on Chinese fuel demand. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.47 percent weaker at $58.91pb. Crude prices bounced back during Asian trade this morning.

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