Markets WRAP: Rand closes at R14.02/$

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21 Feb 2019

The rand closed at R14.02 to the greenback on Thursday afternoon. 

The day's range was R13.87 to R14.05. 

Earlier TreasuryONE said investors are seemingly giving Finance Minister Tito Mboweni the "thumbs up".

This after the rand traded as high as R14.37 during the Budget speech on Wednesday afternoon before touching R13.93 during the US session last night.

21 Feb 2019

Rand bulls can probably breathe again.

The cost of hedging against price swings in the South African currency over a one-month period plunged more than 120 basis points -- the most in the world -- on Wednesday, after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni assured investors the government would not take beleaguered power-utility Eskom Holdings SOC’s debt on to its books, as many had feared. - Bloomberg


21 Feb 2019

Bianca Botes, Corporate Treasury Manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions says the rand has rebounded strongly post Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's Budget address on Wednesday afternoon.

"After giving up some ground to the greenback at the start of the National Budget Speech on Wednesday, the rand rebounded strongly as markets assessed that South Africa will probably be able to avoid a downgrade by Moody's, for now.

"The rand experienced volatility throughout the budget, reaching a low of R14.37/$ during the beginning of the Budget Speech, followed by a brief high of R13.96.

"Local CPI data revealed an inflation rate that had dropped to 4% in January from 4.5%, but this good news was mostly overshadowed by the budget.

"Trade moves back into focus, as the US is likely to strain trade relations with Europe and Japan, while negotiations with China remain ongoing.

"Economic data due to be released later today include US jobless claims, as well as durable goods orders.

Botes said the rand had an expected range of R13.95 to R14.18.

By 11:52, the rand was changing hands at R13.91.

21 Feb 2019

MTN Irancell appoints new CEO

MTN Irancell has appointed Bijan Abbasi Arand as its new CEO, replacing Alireza Ghalambor Dezfouli who will be retiring, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Dezfouli has served as the CEO of MTN Irancell since its inception in 2005.

The company described Abbasi as "one of the leading telecommunications experts in Iran and brings decades of experience in both the academic and commercial sectors.

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21 Feb 2019

Steinhoff shareholders want Amsterdam court to launch inquiry

A group of Steinhoff shareholders has petitioned the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal to launch an inquiry into the global retailer. The multinational group is domiciled in the Netherlands, although its headquarters are in Stellenbosch. 

The multinational group is domiciled in the Netherlands, although its headquarters are in Stellenbosch.The enterprise chamber is a division of the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam that can launch inquiries into companies if asked to do so.

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21 Feb 2019

Woolworths Holdings [JSE:WHL] on Thursday announced results for the 26 weeks ended 23 December 2018.

Group sales for the first 26 weeks of the 2019 financial year were R39.4bn, an increase of 1.9%, and profit before tax was R2.6bn compared to a loss of R4.1bn in 2018.Adjusted profit before tax of R2.7bn was down 9.2%, with headline earnings per share down 2.9% to 200.4cps.

Earnings per share increased to 197.5cps.

The board has declared an interim cash dividend of 92 cents per share.  

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21 Feb 2019

Asian markets were mixed Thursday after the Federal Reserve left open the possibility it could lift interest rates this year, while investors kept an optimistic eye on China-US trade talks.

Equities and other risk assets have enjoyed a stellar start to the year on hopes for the negotiations as well as expectations the US central bank will slow its pace of monetary tightening - with some even tipping a cut - as growth both at home and globally slows. - AFP

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21 Feb 2019

During the budget speech on Wednesday the rand traded as high as R14.37/$ before touching R13.93/$ during the US session Wednesday night.

Investors are seemingly giving newly appointed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni a thumbs up.

However, optimism on the idea that a seven-month trade war between the US and China could soon draw to an end also boosted investor sentiment.

The US Fed minutes from the January meeting were released Wednesday night and showed that the policymakers saw 2019 as the year to end their balance sheet run-off and will remain patient on interest rates.

Equities in the US closed relatively flat as all three major indices closed slightly higher but positive trade wars news helped stocks in the Asian markets Thursday morning as the Shanghai and Nikkei closed 0.54% and 0.41% in the green.

Palladium is still in a bull phase after the PGM broke above $1 500 Wednesday and is currently around $1 490.00. - TreasuryONE

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