Rand trades on the front foot, Newsline

JOHANNESBURG – The South African rand welcomed news that president-elect Joe Biden will take over the US political reins – despite pushback and election fraud allegations from Trump – and applauded Pfizer’s announcement that its vaccine prevented 90 percent of infections.

There are still some open questions about Senate elections, but markets are again focused on the potential for any new fiscal stimulus.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell said last week that the country needs another stimulus package “before the end of the year” although Republicans have previously suggested they had little appetite for additional fiscal stimulus under a Biden administration, leaving the outcome of any negotiations with the Democratic-led House remains uncertain.

At the close of local trade, the rand quoted just under 2 percent stronger for the day after trading in range of R15.21/$ – R15.63/$. The local unit traded flat overnight. Expected range today R15.40/$ – R15.60/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (+7.75 percent) had its best day in over two months yesterday, as the global market mood improved with European markets up across the board. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.59 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price tracked global stocks higher yesterday following positive news on the global vaccine front. Moreover, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the OPEC+ deal on oil production cuts could be adjusted to offset rising supply and weak demand. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 8.61 percent higher at $43.01pb. Crude prices traded weaker during Asian trade this morning.

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