The South African rand was steady in early-morning trading but lost its footing against the greenback as the Jackson Hole convention kicked off in the US according to NKC Research.
There was a significant pickup in volatility as the Powell headlines hit the tapes. In line with market expectations, Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated that the US monetary authorities will implement an aggressive strategy to boost employment and inflation. The inflation target will shift towards an average annual rate of 2 percent.
At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.75 percent weaker at R17.01/$, after trading in range of R16.83/$ – R17.01/$. This morning, the local unit began clawing back some of yesterday afternoon’s losses. Expected range today R16.80/$ – R17.00/$.
South African bourse
The JSE All Share (+0.53 percent) ended higher yesterday led by gains in large technology (+1.77 percent) and industrial (+1.25 percent) stocks. In local news, drugmaker Aspen (-1.47 percent) said it expects headline earnings per share (Heps) from ongoing operations to register up to 11 percent higher during the year ended June 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.19 percent) traded lower.
Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price weakened yesterday, as the greenback shot up and Hurricane Laura made landfall in the centre of the US oil industry prompting the closure of various oil rigs and refineries across the region. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 2.27 percent lower at $44.75pb. Crude prices traded flat during Asian trade this morning.