WATCH: The rand edges weaker late in the session

JOHANNESBURG – The rand hovered around the R13.60/$ level during yesterday’s European trading session, according to NKC Research. 

In the absence of any major local data releases, the South African currency benefited from broad greenback weakness, as markets assess whether the US Federal Reserve plans to keep interest rates unchanged during its policy meeting later this week. 

Uncertainty over Sino-US trade talks also kept investors on the sidelines. At close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.5 percent weaker at R13.68/$, after trading in range of R13.59/$ – R13.72/$. ZAR traded flat overnight. Expected range today R13.55/$ – R13.75/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (-0.5 percent) ended lower yesterday dragged by losses in large technology(-3.3 percent) and industrial (-1.6 percent) shares.

In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.4 percent) traded lower. 

In local news, Pepkor (-4.3 percent), previously Steinhoff Africa Retail, announced that its quarterly revenue increased by 6.1 percent in the 3 months ended 31 December 2018.

Brent Crude Oil

The Brent oil price was set for its biggest 1 day drop in a month following data releases that showed US rig counts climbed to 862 last week – the first rise in 2019. At close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures prices quoted 1.1% lower at $60.08pb. Crude prices recovered slightly during Asian trade this morning.

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