The rand closed marginally weaker than the last session against the dollar after the domestic session opened with the rand trading in the low 14.60s. File Photo: IOL

DURBAN – The rand closed marginally weaker than the last session against the dollar after the domestic session opened with the rand trading in the low 14.60s. 

Nedbank CIB research analyst Reezwana Sumad said Wednesday’s improved levels in the rand proved attractive to greenback buyers and saw the rand weaken to R14.71 on the day before recovering lost ground hovering around the low R14.60s to the dollar later in the day. 

At 5pm the domestic currency was bid 4c weaker than the same time bid on Wednesday at R14.68 against the dollar. Against the pound it was 3c stronger at R18.83 and bid at R16.30 to the euro.

Sumad said the international markets were again subdued. “The pound was also range-bound versus the dollar, but this morning, it managed recover lost ground. Gold has held steady over the most recent sessions,” said Sumad. 

She said the technical formation for an attempt on R14.40 a dollar remained intact. 

Treasury partner at Peregrine Treasury Solutions Bianca Botes said the rand traded in a tight range on Wednesday, struggling to break below R14.60/$ after testing it a few times in late afternoon trade. 

“Market focus is starting to shift to the Fed interest rate decision later this month, while upbeat sentiment is surrounding the US-China trade deal that will potentially be signed at the G20 summit next month,” said Botes

She said weak data from the US would have seen the rand gain additional momentum, potentially breaking below the R14.60 mark. 

The unit traded between the range of R14.59 - R14.68 on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, JSE stocks declined with the blue-chip Top40 index declined 0.24 percent to 49 124.43points while the broader all share index also decreased 0.17 percent to 55 478.45 points.

The biggest earners were African Rainbow Minerals which gained 6.51 percent at R150.73 followed by Harmony with 6.21 percent at R48.76 then Kumba Iron Ore with 5.46 percent to R363.99. Assore increased by 4.07 percent at R248.12 while Truworths lifted 3.47 percent to R57.80. 

The biggest losers were Vivo Energy which shed 3.74 percent to R22.41 followed by Distell dropping 3.47 percent to R135.84 while Netcare decreased by 3.33 percent to R17.71. Pepkor also lost 2.92 percent at R16.60 and Intu Properties also losing 2.82 percent to R8.95.

BUSINESS REPORT