Markets WRAP: Rand closes at R14.37/$

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24 Jun 2019

The rand closed at R14.37 to the greenback on Monday afternoon.

The day's range was between R14.23 and R14.40.

24 Jun 2019

The rand is a touch firmer as the dollar remains under pressure, says Peregrine Treasury's Bianca Botes.

By 10:41, the rand was changing hands at R14.28 to the greenback.

"The dollar remains subdued, fuelling the current firmer levels of the rand. The attention now shifts to G20 taking place in Osaka from June 27 to 29 where the two presidents, Xi and Trump are set to engage on trade agreements, although markets are not too optimistic that a conclusion will be reached.  

"The ZAR is likely to continue targeting the R14.40 mark as the euro blows off steam from its rally to 3-month highs." 

24 Jun 2019

Global stocks trade mixed; oil climbs on Iran tensions

Adam Haigh, Bloomberg

US stock futures edged higher and European ones traded flat after a mixed session in Asia, as investors monitor geopolitical risks and prepare for the high-stakes meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

Oil climbed as the U.S. said it was planning sanctions on Iran. Shares saw modest gains or flat performances across major Asian markets Monday. S&P 500 futures rose after the gauge Friday slipped from an all-time high. The yen and the offshore yuan were steady. The yield on 10-year Treasuries was flat at 2.05%.

The Turkish lira jumped after the opposition candidate won the redo of Istanbul’s mayoral race.

The Aussie rose after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said there are limits to what monetary easing can achieve. Crude oil traded just below $58 in New York.

Investors are weighing the Middle East situation alongside a dovish shift from major central banks and the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China. Next up comes a speech from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday, then the Trump-Xi tete-a-tete on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Japan at the end of the week.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said Friday he called for a 50 basis point reduction in interest rates at the central bank’s June 18-19 meeting. Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said the argument in favour of cutting rates has strengthened recently as cross-currents buffet the US economy amid heightened uncertainty.

“The market may be overly optimistic about three rate cuts,” Mary Nicola, a strategist at Eastspring Investments Ltd., told Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong. “We could get one, maybe two cuts, but it is hard to see the Fed going into a cutting cycle when the US consumer is holding up relatively well. There’s some room for disappointment.”

Meanwhile, the US plans to announce more sanctions against Iran, but Trump is also willing to negotiate with Iranian leaders with “no preconditions” to ensure the Islamic Republic never acquires a nuclear weapon. The sanctions would come days after the U.S. president abruptly called off a plan for air strikes.

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