The Rand weakened by 1.8% yesterday as Moody’s highlighted concerns over rising Government debt versus diminishing tax revenue. The Rand closed the day at 16.8949 after opening at 16.5973 and is still firmly entrenched in the 16.5000/17.0000 range. This morning we are trading at 16.8670 in very quiet Asian markets with all EMs currently flat. Yesterday’s local mining, gold, and manufacturing data beat estimates, but the Current account showed a higher than forecast deficit.
Gold, Platinum, and Palladium are all a little weaker today, trading at $1 939, $930, and $2 291 respectively. A bigger than expected jump in US Crude Inventories has seen Brent crude dip below $40.00 while WTI has slipped to $37.00.
The ECB kept rates on hold yesterday while confirming that their bond-buying programme would remain at 1.35 trillion Euros. Christine Lagarde’s statement that the ECB does not target the EURUSD rate saw the Euro surge to 1.1917, but a later comment that the rate is monitored for its impact on inflation saw the Euro slip back again. This morning we have the Dollar trading firmer at 1.1835 and 1.2821 against the Euro and Pound. The Dollar was further supported as Wall Street reversed its positive opening to close down on the day with the S&P losing 1.76%, the Dow 1.45% and the Nasdaq 1.99%. Asian stocks are mixed this morning, and US futures are positive.