JOHANNESBURG – The rand was caught in a tug of war between external factors as US-Sino trade agreement uncertainty dampened risk appetite according to NKC Research.
Although the lingering impact of an uneventful national election on May 8 supported the local unit from souring global risk sentiment. As trade tensions escalate, market tumult is leading to a tightening in financial conditions. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.7 percent weaker at R14.30/$, after trading in range of R14.16/$ – R14.33/$. The rand came back down overnight. Expected range today R14.15/$ – R14.40/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (-0.7 percent) ended lower yesterday, in line with global stock markets, amid broad-based risk-off trade. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-1.6 percent) traded lower. In local news, Astral Foods (+2.4 percent) reported that headline earnings per share (Heps) for the six months ended March, fell by 51.6 percent to R9.49, weighed down by its poultry division.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price started out firmer yesterday, on concerns of supply disruptions in the Middle East. However, China’s announcement that it would hit back at the US with import tariffs of its own saw a sharp price reversal late in the session. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.6 percent higher at $71.44pb. Crude prices steadied during Asian trade this morning.
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