Markets WRAP: Rand closes at R14.12/$ | Fin24
 
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Markets WRAP: Rand closes at R14.12/$

2018-12-19 08:27

The rand firmed by 1.46% at close of day.

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Last Updated at 19:04
19 Dec 17:02
The rand closed at R14.12 to the greenback with a day's range of R14.11 to R14.36.

19 Dec 16:52
The rand firmed by more than 1% on Wednesday afternoon. At 16:51, it was trading at R14.11 with a day's range of R14.11 to R14.36.

19 Dec 15:22
Brace yourself for 2019...here's what's in store for the rand.

19 Dec 14:51

Facebook's shares dropped following a New York Times report that the social media company allowed more than 150 companies access to more users’ personal data than it had disclosed.

Facebook shares were down 1.3% in pre-market trading at 06:45 in New York Wednesday. Other major tech stocks were trading up by just under 1%. According to the report, the social network had allowed Microsoft's Bing search engine to see names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, and allowed other companies to read Facebook users’ private messages.

Steve Satterfield, Facebook’s director of privacy and public policy, told the NYT none of the partnerships violated users’ privacy, or a 2011 agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission to require explicit permission from members before sharing their data.

In a statement published on its website on Wednesday, Facebook said its partnerships or features did not give companies access to information without people’s permission."Throughout our engagement with Facebook, we respected all user preferences," a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement.

Shares of Facebook are down almost 20% for the year to date. Although all of the so-called FAANG stocks - an acronym that refers to Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google-parent Alphabet - were volatile throughout 2018, the social network is the group’s worst performer in 2018, fueled by fears of regulation over issues surrounding user data, misinformation, and privacy.

The Menlo Park, California-based company has been under fire since it learned earlier this year that personal information was transferred by an app developer to Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The company has spent the year trying to update its security and answer questions about the scandal from US lawmakers and overseas policy makers. In the process it’s been hit with fines in the UK, admitted to the theft of intimate data from millions of users, and hired Nick Clegg, Britain’s former deputy prime minister, to run its lobbying efforts. - Bloomberg


19 Dec 13:55

OVERVIEW: Stocks nudged higher and most sovereign bonds held steady as investors awaited Wednesday’s Federal Reserve policy decision. Oil’s selloff continued to reverberate around markets.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced after four days of declines, with carmakers climbing on hopes of a breakthrough on trade. Futures on the S&P 500 Index erased losses made in late trading on Tuesday after earnings from FedEx cast doubt on the strength of global trade.

Asian shares were mixed following a disappointing market debut for SoftBank Group’s Japanese telecom business. Crude oil held on to most losses after the biggest three-day slump since 2016 on slowing demand.

Treasuries were in a holding pattern before the Fed announcement, when the central bank is expected to deliver the fourth rate hike of the year. Italian debt surged after the European Commission was said to have decided against launching a disciplinary procedure against the country over its budget.

The yield on benchmark Japanese notes slipped to within striking distance of 0% before a rapid turnaround as the surge in demand triggered a margin call. The dollar fell against most of its major peers. Amid the recent turmoil in risk assets, many investors are looking to Fed Chair Jerome Powell to attempt to limit the fallout from an interest rate increase by delivering a less hawkish message than in recent meetings.

That might also help placate President Donald Trump, who this week stepped up pressure on the central bank to avoid more tightening.“One thing I would like to see is what people are calling a dovish hike,” Ronald Temple, head of US equity and co-head of multi asset at Lazard Asset Management told Bloomberg TV. “The hiatus on trade helps as well, but I’m a bit more skeptical about how long-lasting that is.”

Beyond the Fed, trade and politics remain the dominant themes. Unless Trump and Congress reach a deal, spending authority expires for a swathe of the US government on Friday night. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said America and China are planning to hold meetings in January to negotiate a broader trade truce.

Elsewhere, the euro strengthened even as Britain and the EU step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit. The pound pared earlier gains as data showed UK inflation slowed.

Emerging-market currencies and shares climbed. - Bloomberg


19 Dec 12:02

Bianca Botes, Corporate Treasury Manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions said in a note to clients that the rand has remained fairly flat, trading within the 10-cent range during Tuesday's session.

"It has started Wednesday off marginally stronger than Tuesday morning with very little direction. Christine Lagarde from the International Monetary Fund is visiting South Africa to meet with both the president and the SARB governor to discuss economic growth.

"Feedback from the IMF will be vital in determining global sentiment towards South Africa, as the country battles to stimulate its economy.

"President Donald Trump also continues to put pressure on the Fed, expressing his dismay towards interest rate hikes, however the Federal Reserve will act independently and proceed to do what it believes is best in terms of US economic performance and inflation.

"Most of the data due today is from the UK, with only current account data due for release from the US.

"Market activity is tapering down as the world heads in to the festive season. Sentiment and politics will continue to be the key drivers during this period. The range for the day is expected to be R14.22 to R14.48."

At 12:02, the rand was changing hands at R14.32.


19 Dec 10:27

TreasuryONE said in a morning note to clients that the dollar was treading water against most currencies ahead of the Fed's interest rate decision expected later on Wednesday. 

"Markets are discounting a 0.25% hike and will focus on Powell’s comments on the future path of hikes. The Euro is at 1.1383 and the Pound at 1.2660 this morning while the rand is steady at 14.3100.

By 10:27, the rand was changing hands at R14.29.

"Wall Street ended the day slightly up but Asian stocks are a touch lower. US Treasury yields slipped, with the 10 year bond at 2.83% and the 30 year at 3.08%. The next steps in the Trade War talks are only expected in the new year now and markets will remain on edge. Gold is up at $1251.33 while Oil fell sharply and is currently at $56.48."


19 Dec 08:29

Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of the US central bank policy meeting while the Japanese mobile unit of SoftBank Group flopped on its debut.The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.23% or 48.63 points to 21 066.82 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.21% or 3.27 points at 1 559.24.

"A wait-and-see mood will likely grow ahead of the outcome of an FOMC meeting which is expected to be out in early hours of Thursday in Japan," Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

Analysts are also watching for Wednesday's Fed decision, which comes amid intense pressure from President Donald Trump on the US central bank to keep rates low.


19 Dec 08:29

South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry is preparing for all eventualities regarding Brexit, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies told Fin24 on Tuesday.

SA has been discussing the issue with the UK for some time already, said Davies, with the dti focusing on "making sure that whatever unfolds won't interrupt trade".The prolonged uncertainty has, however, been a complicating factor, he acknowledged.

"The status quo will largely remain intact, I think."What complicates the process is what the nature will be of the UK reaching an arrangement or not with the EU," said Davies.


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