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Markets WRAP: Rand closes at R14.17/$

2019-03-05 08:42

The local currency strengthened to R14.11/$ in the wake of the release of SA's GDP figures for 2018, but later weakened marginally in trade at R14.17/$ at 17:30 on Tuesday.


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Last Updated at 12:56
05 Mar 15:02

De Beers sales sputter

Thomas Biesheuvel, Bloomberg

De Beers is having the worst start to a year since at least 2016, in the latest sign of difficulties plaguing the global diamond industry.

De Beers sold just $990m of diamonds in its January and February sales, known as sights. That’s the lowest since the Anglo American unit started publishing the data in 2016.

Sales at the start of the year are usually the biggest, as diamond traders and manufacturers restock after the holiday season. Diamond miners are struggling across the board, especially those producing cheaper and smaller gems where there is too much supply.

In December, some of Rio Tinto Group’s customers refused to buy cheaper diamonds, while De Beers has been forced to cut prices and offer concessions to buyers.

05 Mar 15:01

SA's economy grew by 0.8% in 2018

South Africa's economy grew by 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018, Stats SA announced on Tuesday morning - slightly above the estimates of analysts.

05 Mar 14:34

The rand held onto gains in the early afternoon on Tuesday, after Stats SA announced that SA's economy had grown by 0.8% in 2018, slightly above market expectations. 

The local currency was trading at R14.12/$ at 14:30, up 0.7% on the day. 

05 Mar 10:33

Rand awaits release of fourth quarter GDP data  

The rand gained slightly early trade on Tuesday as the market awaited the fourth quarter GDP data from Stats SA.  

The local currency opened at R14.23/$ and was trading at R14.16/$ at 10:25.

Stats SA will release the GDP data at 11:30, and it is expected to show only tepid growth for SA last year.  

"The consensus expects a seasonally adjusted increase of 1.2% annualised compared to the previous month and growth of 0.6% year on year.

"After the economy had grown again in the third quarter following two recessionary quarters at the beginning of 2018, and the indicators available so far signal a weaker momentum," said Commerzbank in a note to clients.  

The bank warned that, should the results fall well short of expectations, this could have an additional negative impact on the rand if risk sentiment were to deteriorate.

05 Mar 08:42

US-China trade talks remain the hot topic, TreasuryONE said in a morning note to clients, with Asian stock markets ending the day in the green.

The Shanghai Composite was the biggest winner, closing 2.64% higher. Meanwhile, US stock markets all closed higher on Friday evening as risk appetite for equities rose.

"This dragged the price of safe-haven assets like Gold lower which has dropped below the $1,300/ounce level for the first time since the end of January," the note added.

"The price of palladium is still in a bullish phase and hovers around the $1,550 mark while platinum is at $860.00. The GBP is still trading higher on optimism that the UK will not exit the EU at the end of the month without a deal and is sitting at 1.3230 with the EUR trading in 1.1360’s at the time of writing."

The GBP is still trading higher on optimism that the UK will not exit the EU at month end without a deal, TreasuryONE noted.

The rand was the worst performer on Friday following its worst February in some decades, but further positive news on trade talks has helped it grind back lower.


USDZAR- 4.1693 ·

EURUSD- 1.1362 ·      

EURZAR -16.0911 ·      

GBPUSD- 1.3234 ·      

GBPZAR -18.7425 ·      

AUDZAR- 10.0438 ·      

CADZAR- 10.6635 ·      

CNYZAR -2.1171 ·      

ZARJPY- 7.8995 ·      

CHFZAR -14.1679

Brought to you by TreasuryONE.

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