WATCH: Rand whipsaws weaker

JOHANNESBURG – The South African currency whipsawed weaker yesterday as lingering ratings reprieve ran its course while uncertainty regarding US-Sino trade progress paused risk-on momentum according to NKC Research.

The likely agreement on a ‘phase 1’ trade deal between the US and China and related suspension of the October trade tariff round have removed a downside risk that we attached to our baseline until recently, although we do not expect existing tariffs to be rolled back soon. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 3.2 percent weaker at R14.84/$. The rand continued to trade on then back foot early this morning. Expected range today R14.75/$ – R15.00/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+0.71 percent) ended the day on a firmer footing, led mostly by gains in large platinum mining (+5.81 percent) companies. In local news, Australia’s South32 (+2.65 percent) announced yesterday that it would sell its local thermal coal business to Seriti Resources. The transaction is expected to “substantially reduce our capital intensity, strengthen our balance sheet and will improve the group’s operating margin”, the mining house’s Chief Executive said. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.22 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price traded lower yesterday, after American Petroleum Institute data showed US crude stockpiles rose by 4.3 million barrels in the week ended November 1 to 440.5 million barrels. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted basically unchanged at $62.56pb. Crude prices were softer during Asian trade.

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