Rand trades flat overnight
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THE rand shuffled backwards ahead of the release of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) rate for the first quarter, with traders positioning for a poor data print, according to NKC Research.
In a sigh of relief, the GDP figure came in better than expected at 4.6 percent quarter on quarter (beating estimates of 2.5 percent quarter on quarter) as eight industries managed to eke out positive growth.
In the US, the trade gap narrowed to $68.9 billion (about R932.53bn) in April after recording a high of $75.0bn in March. US President Joe Biden continued to negotiate with Republicans on an infrastructure package. He has cut his offer to $1 trillion and has eliminated the corporate tax rate hike from his proposal.
Despite similar top-line spending numbers, the two sides remain far apart, making it increasingly likely the Democrats will resort to the budget reconciliation to enact any of the big items on Biden’s agenda. Biden may be able to advance some individual pieces of his infrastructure agenda through smaller bills with bipartisan support.
At the close of local trade, the rand was 0.28 percent weaker at R13.59 to the dollar, after trading in a range of R13.49 to R13.60. The rand traded flat overnight. The expected range of the rand against the dollar today is R13.40 to R13.70.
South African bourse
The FTSE/JSE All Share Index ended in positive territory (+0.10 percent) yesterday, thanks to small gains in large resources and gold stocks. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index traded in the red (-0.23 percent).
Brent crude oil
The price of Brent oil traded slightly higher yesterday as investors remained optimistic about a rebound in the demand for fuel. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 0.41 percent higher at $71.29 per barrel. Crude prices extended their gains during Asian trade this morning.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE