JOHANNESBURG – The rand racked up gains late in the European session on hopes that China might implement more stimulus measures to keep the economy from slowing further according to NKC Research.
On domestic soil, traders looked at South African retail sales data for March to offer some directional guidance. Retail sales, an indicator of domestic demand, rose by a meagre 0.2 percent y-o-y and slipped by 0.7 percent m-o-m. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.3 percent stronger at R14.20/$, after trading in range of R14.18/$ – R14.30/$. The rand ticked lower overnight. Expected range today R14.05/$ – R14.35/$
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (-0.3 percent) ended lower yesterday, dragged by losses in large retail (-1.6 percent) and technology (-1.1 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.2 percent) traded higher. In a statement yesterday, South Africa’s Competition Commission said Naspers’s (-1.1 percent) bid to buy the local vehicle-purchasing service WeBuyCars should be blocked – causing the company’s share price to weaken.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price traded sharply higher late in yesterday’s session as tensions in the Middle East intensify, and despite data from the Energy Information Administration indicating that US crude inventories rose to the highest level since September 2017. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.8 percent higher at $71.68pb. Crude prices traded higher during Asian trade this morning.
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