Rand weakens, markets down as virus worries persist

The rand slipped against the US dollar on Friday as concerns about a surge in coronavirus cases globally continued to weigh on hopes of a swift economic recovery.

At 1500 GMT, the rand traded at 17.33 per dollar, 1.11% weaker than its previous close.

Coronavirus cases have been rising across the United States, while over 9.51 million people have been infected globally, according to a Reuters tally.

“Sentiment has been impacted by the surge in Covid-19 infections in certain US states. This has raised concern over a rapid economic recovery, particularly if a renewed lockdown is implemented,” Kamilla Kaplan of Investec said in a note.

“These factors are likely to continue shaping sentiment in the week ahead.”

Cases in South Africa have also surged, with confirmed Covid-19 cases up by more than 6,000 from Wednesday to reach over 118 000 by late on Thursday, with more than 2 200 registered deaths.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) ended the week lower as the mood of the market upbeat on opening of the economy reversed due to a rise in coronavirus cases globally.

The FTSE/JSE benchmark all share index and the FTSE/JSE Top40 Companies index were both down 0.36% to end the trading week at 53,720 points and 49,556 points respectively.

The banks led the fall in the market with the banking index closing down 3.22%.

In fixed income, the yield long-dated 2030 bond was up 3 basis points to9.2%.

Source: moneyweb.co.za