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JOHANNESBURG – The South African currency initially extended the previous session’s gains on Friday, at one-point advancing beyond R13.80/$ according to NKC Research.
However, this was short-lived when the US dollar index regained moment late in the day causing the rand to surrender all of its earlier gains. At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.4 percent weaker at R13.87/$, after trading the in range of R13.78/$ – R13.89/$. The rand traded slightly weaker this morning due to much weaker-than-expected Chinese exports and imports figures for December. Expected range today R13.80/$ – R14.05/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (+0.7 percent) ended higher on Friday led by gains in large technology (+1 percent) and general retail (+0.9 percent) shares. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (+0.2 percent) traded higher. In local news, the luxury goods holdings company Richemont (+1.3 percent) said on Friday that Q3 sales improved by 25 percent y-o-y. The share price of brewer AB InBev (+3.8 percent) jumped Bloomberg reported it is considering separately listing its Asian operations.
Brent crude oil
Although the Brent oil price traded lower on Friday, it remained set for another weekly gain. Opec-led supply cuts, hopes that the China-US trade war could end soon and US sanctions against Iran are the factors driving oil prices currently. On the other hand, an expected slowdown in the global economy this year is keeping the crude price from rising at a more rapid pace. At the close of local trade, the Brent oil price quoted 1.8 percent at $60.49/pb. Crude prices continued to trade lower this morning.
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