JOHANNESBURG – The rand was pressured as negative data releases shone a light on the struggling economy, especially within the context of volatile global risk sentiment as the US-Sino trade war gained traction in recent days.
The unemployment rate ticked higher, with the negative labour data release hot on the heels of concerns raised by Moody’s that slow policy reform will continue to strain the growth environment. On Monday, JP Morgan cautioned that it has reduced exposure (from a previous position of overweight) to South African bonds in light of the weakened budget position, stating that the fiscal outlook is “significantly more challenging” than previously estimated. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.6 percent stronger at R14.20/$, after trading in range of R14.20/$ – R14.36/$. The rand drifted weaker overnight. Expected range today R14.00/$ – R14.35/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (-0.3 percent) ended lower again yesterday, dragged by losses across the board. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.2 percent) traded lower. Locally, losses were broad based, with Pepkor (-4.9 percent), Bidvest (-3.8 percent) and RCL Foods (-3.3 percent) forming part of the day’s biggest laggards.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price traded firmly higher on news of a drone attack on some of Saudi Aramco’s facilities. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 1.0 percent higher at $71.19pb. Crude prices traded in a narrow band during Asian trade this morning.
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