Markets WRAP: Rand closes at R14.48/$

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Financial data analysis graph showing global market trends. Selective focus. Horizontal composition with copy space.
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14 Mar 2019

The rand closed at R14.48/$ on Thursday. 

Here's what the day end looked like: 

USDZAR 14.4822

EURUSD 1.1299

EURZAR 16.3615

GBPUSD 1.3254

GBPZAR 19.1852

AUDZAR 10.2172

CADZAR 10.8630

CNYZAR 2.1524

ZARJPY 7.6972

CHFZAR 14.4116

R186 8.76%

US 10 Year 2.62%

JSE -0.04%

FTSE 0.54%

S&P 500 -0.13%

Brought to you by TreasuryONE

14 Mar 2019

Oil traded near a four-month high in New York after an unexpected drop in US inventories and as OPEC urged producers to stick with efforts to prevent a surplus.West Texas Intermediate futures added as much as 0.7% before paring some of those gains.

As members of the OPEC+ coalition prepare to meet in Baku, Azerbaijan, to review their production cutbacks, the cartel’s secretariat recommended that producers “avoid a relapse of the imbalance and continue to support oil-market stability in 2019.”

Crude has surged nearly 30% this year as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies cut production, while American sanctions also tighten output from Iran and Venezuela.

Yet the rally has been limited by continued trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies - which could hurt oil-demand growth - as well as record US production.

“Supply risks are at the front of the mind as Venezuela’s crisis deepens and Iran sanctions exemptions end soon,” said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Julius Baer Group in Zurich.

WTI for April delivery rose 15 cents to $58.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 13:14 p.m. in London. The contract rose $1.39 to $58.26 on Wednesday, the highest close since November 12.

Brent for May settlement rose 18 cents to $67.73 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract climbed 88 cents to $67.55 on Wednesday. The global benchmark crude traded at a $8.99 premium to WTI for the same month. - Bloomberg

14 Mar 2019

The British Parliament's vote against a "no deal" scenario still leaves the UK between a rock and a hard place, commented Andre Botha, senior currency dealer at TreasuryONE, on Thursday. 

This, says Botha, is expected to inject some market volatility in the short term, with the Rand likely at the mercy of events and sentiment from offshore, which could leave it on the back foot. 

14 Mar 2019

European stocks gain as UK's Parliament heads to a new vote

Macarena Munoz

European equities advanced at the open after Brexit took a step toward a delay and China’s slowdown deepened with weak economic data.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3% with oil and gas and telecom shares leading gains.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG dropped 5% after cutting its growth plans.

The FTSE 100 was little changed after Britain’s Parliament rejected leaving the European Union without an agreement in place to keep trade flowing, putting the country on course to delay Brexit.

A new vote will take place later Thursday on a postponement to the current March 29 deadline.

“The latest equities sessions have been a little bit tedious, with markets going from less to more in the session and we can keep seeing that trend for some more days,” David Navarro, equities fund manager at Andbank Wealth Management in Madrid, said. “The Brexit saga continues with the uncertainty over how it’s going to end still pending and weighing on the pound.”

In China, retail sales data was in line with expectations and industrial production data slightly below, which led to the unemployment rate jumping in February.

14 Mar 2019

Rand may enter period of uncertainty 

Andre Botha, Senior Dealer at TreasuryONE

“[On Wednesday], the rand traded in a very narrow band for most of the day and looked odds on to break below the R14.30 level, before a sudden turn for worse saw the rand end the day as the worst-performing EM currency and ended the day firmly entrenched above the R14.40 level.

"Reasons for the sudden weakness have ranged from reaction to the Brexit vote, low liquidity conditions and stop losses being triggered, and bad data out of China. 

"This uncertainty does not bode well for the Rand and we could see the Rand on the defensive as we head to the end of the week. This uncertainty has also spilled into equity markets as Asian Markets traded with mixed results this morning."

14 Mar 2019

Naspers said to eye fintech deals in $1bn India push - Bloomberg

Naspers wants to spend about $1bn in India this year as it scours the globe for investments that can replicate its blockbuster bet on China’s Tencent, a person familiar with the matter said.

Africa’s largest company by market value is in talks to inject about $200m into business loan provider Capital Float and payments security firm Wimbo as a first step, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private

* Fin24 is part of Media24, a subsidiary of Naspers. 

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14 Mar 2019

Stocks trade mixed after China data; pound drops

Adam Haigh, Bloomberg

Asian stocks traded mixed Thursday as investors digested a slew of economic data from the US and China.

The pound gave back some of Wednesday’s surge as traders positioned for the next steps in the Brexit saga.

Shares fluctuated in Hong Kong and Japan, and declined in China after its retail sales data was in line with expectations and industrial production data slightly below. Earlier, the S&P 500 Index climbed to a four-month high after US business equipment orders increased by the most in six months and a producer price index signaled modest pressure on inflation.

Treasury yields ticked higher with the dollar and the yen weakened.

The US data signaled a positive start to the year for the world’s biggest economy and little pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

In China, traders were mulling the soft reading on industrial output as they searched for clues on how the economy’s reacting to stimulus.

The ongoing Brexit drama, a cut to the UK’s growth forecast and a warning from America’s top trade negotiator that tariffs may not be rolled back are adding to an uncertain picture for global growth.

“This is maybe a reminder to everyone not to expect the macro data to have turned completely to the upside yet,” Helen Qiao, chief greater China economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong. “Growth is going to improve in the second quarter. With more effective policy easing delivered, we should be able to see more growth momentum being restored - but that takes time.”

14 Mar 2019

Oil and gas find could help SA set up sovereign wealth fund, says Mantashe

Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe told the National Assembly that South Africa's recent oil and gas find had great potential to offer the country energy independence, economic growth and jobs.

Mantashe was addressing Members of Parliament during a plenary of oral replies to their questions on Wednesday afternoon.Total announced during the 2019 Mining Indaba that it had found offshore gas deposits at its Brulpadda prospects in the Outeniqua basin, some 175km off the coast of South Africa.

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