Markets WRAP: Rand closes at R14.06/$

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18 Apr 2019

The rand closed at R14.06 to the greenback on Thursday afternoon.

The day's range was between R13.97 and R14.12.

Bianca Botes, Corporate Treasury Manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions said earlier today that little had changed with the rand remaining largely range bound, trading yesterday in a range as narrow as 6c.

18 Apr 2019

OVERVIEW: US equity futures fell and European stocks extended declines on Thursday as weak euro-area factory data compounded a risk-off mood before the long holiday weekend.

Treasuries rallied while the yen and dollar strengthened. Banking and oil shares led the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down, as most national gauges in the region turned lower following the weak German and euro-area factory numbers.

European bonds rose and the euro weakened. Contracts for the main three US benchmarks pointed to a dip at the New York open. Losses were heavier in Asia, where South Korean shares led the decline as issues with a new Samsung phone weighed on the biggest stock in the main index. Equity investors appear to be in a cautious mood as they head into the Easter weekend, with many major markets - including those in the US - set to close on Friday, and exchanges across Europe also shuttered on Monday.

Solid economic data out of China, optimistic signals from the trade talks and a decent start to the earnings season have not been enough to spur risk appetite, particularly after policy concerns sank American healthcare stocks on Wednesday. Elsewhere, West Texas oil futures were steady and emerging-market stocks headed for their biggest decline in a week.

These are the main moves in markets:


The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.1% as of 10:28 London time. Futures on the S&P 500 Index fell 0.2% to the lowest in a week. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5%. The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 0.6%. Kospi index sank 1.4% on the largest tumble in more than three weeks. 


The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index jumped 0.3%, the biggest increase in three weeks. The euro sank 0.4% to the weakest in a week on the largest decrease in more than three weeks. The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index sank 0.2%. The South Korean Won fell 0.2%.


The yield on two-year Treasuries dipped two basis points to 2.38%, the lowest in a week on the biggest decrease in more than a week. The yield on 10-year Treasuries sank four basis points to 2.56%, the largest tumble in more than three weeks. Germany’s 10-year yield sank three basis points to 0.05% and the biggest tumble in more than three weeks. 


Gold gained 0.2% to $1,276.42 an ounce, the first advance in more than a week. Brent crude fell 0.2% to $71.47 a barrel. Platinum decreased 0.3% to $888.70 an ounce. - Bloomberg

18 Apr 2019

The rand is a touch softer despite good CPI and Retail Sales numbers on Wednesday, TreasuryONE said in a morning note to clients.

By 09:18, the rand was trading hands at R14.02 to the greenback.

"The South African Reserve Bank yesterday warned that further power cuts as seen in March could bring economic growth to close to zero," it said. 

"The dollar is trading largely unchanged from yesterday's close in New York despite upbeat talk regarding a trade deal with China from President Donald Trump. Trump expects a positive announcement on a deal by May. Wall Street closed lower on poor earnings reported yesterday and this has fed through to Asian markets which are also down.

"Gold continues to slide and is at $1 272.40 this morning."

Meanwhile Peregrine Treasury Solutions's Bianca Botes said little has changed with the rand remaining largely range bound, trading yesterday in a range as narrow as 6c.

"Today sees the release of EU PPI, while the US will be releasing retail sales as well as jobless claims data.

"The latter plays an integral part in the US market and volatility in US currency trade can be expected," Botes said.

18 Apr 2019

Stocks in Asia pull back from six-month high

Cormac Mullen and Adam Haigh, Bloomberg

Stocks in Asia pulled back from a six-month high Thursday after the latest batch of corporate earnings did little to boost their US counterparts.

Treasuries inched higher alongside the yen. Shares in Japan and Hong Kong retreated, while losses were more modest in China.

Equities in South Korea underperformed as issues with a new Samsung phone weighed on the biggest stock in the benchmark. Earlier, the S&P 500 closed lower, led by a drop in health-care providers on concern about policy changes.

The dollar edged higher and the yuan weakened. The Aussie fluctuated after a better-than-expected jobs report.

Investors have been growing more optimistic the anticipated drop in first quarter earnings won’t spoil the year as results continue to pour in.

Chinese data Wednesday showed a stabilisation in the world’s second-largest economy and helped to ease fears about the slowdown in global growth.

Still, volumes are low and will likely remain so ahead of the upcoming Easter holidays in many countries.

Meanwhile, a US-China deal could be announced by early May, according to people familiar with the plans. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to travel to Beijing the week of April 29 and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will go to Washington the following week for negotiations.

During his visit, officials want to announce the sides have struck a deal and details of a signing summit, probably set for late May. Elsewhere, oil held losses after government data showed US crude and gasoline supplies shrinking less than forecast by an industry report.

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