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Markets WRAP: Rand closes at R14.54/$

2019-05-02 08:32

The rand closed at R14.54/$ on Thursday.


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Last Updated at 15:15
02 May 18:11
The rand closed at R14.54 on Thursday, after trading in range of 14.42 - 14.57 for the day. 

02 May 16:26

Anglo American Platinum to appoint PwC as external auditor from 2020

Anglo American Platinum has appointed PwC as its external auditor from 2020, after the services of Deloitte will be terminated on a rotational basis, the group said in a notice to shareholders.

"Following the conclusion of a formal tender process led by an Anglo American plc steering committee on which Amplats was represented, the Audit and Risk Committee has recommended and the Board of directors of Amplats has approved the proposed appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as its external auditor," the notice read.

"The appointment will take effect from and including the year ending 31 December 2020."

The appointment of PwC has been recommended to shareholders for approval at the AGM in 2020.

"Deloitte will perform the audit function in respect of Amplats’ financial statements for the financial year ending 31 December 2019.

"On completion of the 2019 audit, Deloitte will stand down and PwC will assume the role of external auditors for Amplats," the notice read.

Ssimilarly, Kumba Iron ore, a member of the Anglo American group, has also appointed PwC as external auditors. This appointment is also subject to shareholder approval at the AGM in 2020.

02 May 15:29

Stocks mixed as focus turns to earnings and data

U.S. equity futures were mixed on Thursday and European shares declined as investors switched their focus from monetary policy back to company earnings and economic data.

Treasuries slipped as American productivity gains accelerated.

Futures for the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 gained while those on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changed.

Caterpillar boosted its dividend to a record as it posted first-quarter profit and sales that topped estimates, while Teva Pharmaceutical also reported a beat.

Tesla shares jumped in early trading after the electric-car maker filed to raise about $2 billion through offerings of debt and common stock.

The Stoxx Europe 600 declined, with most of the region’s national benchmarks slipping as they reopened following a holiday. Oil giant Shell beat estimates and Lloyds Bank missed.

Most European government bonds climbed after data showed the euro area’s manufacturing slump extended into a third month. The pound fluctuated as the Bank of England held rates steady and hinted at future hikes.

Earlier in Asia, trading was again depressed by holidays in Japan and China. Equity benchmarks in South Korea and Hong Kong hit their highs of the session after CNBC reported that the U.S. and China could announce a trade deal as soon as next Friday, citing sources it didn’t name.

Alongside the earnings season, the chances of a breakthrough in the trade talks are back on top of the agenda, with negotiations between the U.S. and China set to continue in Washington next week. For now, markets appear to be stabilising in the wake of the Fed decision and press conference on Wednesday, which triggered stock declines and marginal gains for the dollar that suggested some investors had anticipated a more dovish message from Jerome Powell and his colleagues.

Data on Thursday showed productivity gains in the U.S. accelerated by more than expected last quarter to the fastest pace since 2014. The next big clue on the health of the world’s biggest economy will be Friday’s monthly jobs report.Elsewhere, oil extended declines in the wake of a report showing U.S. crude stockpiles swelled to their highest levels since 2017. A gauge of emerging-market stocks drifted. - Bloomberg

02 May 13:50

Harmony Gold's [JSE:HAR] share price slumped 3% following the release of its operational update.

On Thursday, the gold mining company’s share price opened at R24.11 and was trading at R23.54 ahead of the release of its operational update at 11:13.

Harmony Gold said that the performance in the most recent quarter ending in March was influenced by a slower start-up following the December holiday period. Eskom Stage 4 load shedding also impacted the mining company's performance.

02 May 12:15
Volkswagen shares advanced the most in five months after first-quarter profit rose and the German carmaker stuck to annual earnings goals despite a global market slowdown and rising legal costs.

02 May 10:05

The rand is in for a bumpy ride, says Peregrine Treasury Solutions's Bianca Botes.

By 10:05, the rand was trading at R14.42 to the greenback.

"Thin volumes on Wednesday’s public holiday assisted the rand to gain some ground against major currencies reaching highs of R14.27 against the greenback. The rally was, however, short lived with the rand starting today off at R14.42 as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that a rate cut in the US would be very unlikely at this stage.

"Local Manufacturing PMI and vehicle sales are due today, while the UK’s BOE is due to announce its interest rate decision.

"We will also be turning our attention to the US which is due to release its initial jobless claims this afternoon. The rand is expected to experience a bumpy ride today, with a bias to the weaker side.

"The range remains at R14.30 to R14.50, however a break above R14.50 opens the door to another leg weaker with the next target at R14.80." 

02 May 08:30

Stocks in Asia were mixed as investors turned to US-China trade talks after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell rejected the idea that an interest-rate cut is looming in the US and stuck with a neutral stance.

European equity futures edged lower. In trading depressed by holidays in Japan and China, equity benchmarks in South Korea and Hong Kong hit their highs of the session after CNBC reported that the US and China could announce a trade deal as soon as next Friday, citing sources it didn’t name.

The yen ticked lower against the dollar. Ten-year Treasuries ticked higher. Australia’s stocks underperformed after the nation’s biggest lender cut its dividend. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 Index posted its biggest decline in almost six weeks. The dollar held on to marginal gains after the Fed decision, while US futures were little changed after the overnight sell-off that suggested some investors had anticipated a more dovish message from Powell and his colleagues.

Next up on the outlook for U.S. rates is Friday’s monthly US jobs report. Elsewhere, oil held declines in the wake of a report showing US crude stockpiles swelled to their highest levels since 2017 while American production set a new record.

These are the main moves in markets:


Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 slid 0.2% as of 06:54 in London. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.6%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.4%. S&P 500 futures added 0.1%. The S&P 500 Index decreased 0.8% Wednesday. 


The yen dipped 0.2% to 111.56 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was up 0.1%. The euro rose 0.1% to $1.1206. The British pound was at $1.3051. The offshore yuan dipped 0.1% to 6.7425 per dollar. 


10-year Treasury yields rose two basis points to 2.52% in early London trading and those on two-year notes added two basis points to 2.32%. On Wednesday, the yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 2.5% and two-year yields rose almost four basis points to 2.30%. Australia’s 10-year bond yield held at 1.78%. 


West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.3% to $63.43 a barrel. Gold slipped 0.2% to $1,273.79 an ounce. - Bloomberg

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