The rand languished around a five-month low against the greenback on Friday as risk-off mood carried over the new session, as Delta-related global growth concerns, Fed taper talk and the impact of tighter regulations from Beijing weighed on sentiment, according to NKC Research.

Treasury prices headed modestly higher in Asia as rising coronavirus concerns and China’s regulatory crackdown continued to weigh on Asian equity markets. The risk-off trade was renewed with the open of trading in London and Europe after UK July retail sales figures came in well below expectations.

In terms of fleshing out more details on Fed tapering, market participants will look out for Fed chair Jerome Powell to provide more clarity in his speech this week at the Kansas City Fed economic symposium in Jackson Hole.

At the close of local trade on Friday, the rand weakened by 0.45 percent to end at R15.30/$, after trading in range of R15.16/$ to R15.39/$. The rand traded stronger overnight. The expected range of the rand against the dollar today is R15.10/$ to R15.40/$.

The JSE All Share (-0.15 percent) ended in the red on Friday, as resources (-0.49 percent) and financials (-0.20 percent) dragged the local bourse lower. Retailer Mr Price (-6.5 percent) was one of the worst performers of the day, despite releasing positive news that retail sales rose by 51 percent in the 8 weeks ended August 7. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.94 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil
The Brent oil price continued its losing streak on Friday, reaching a three-month low as surging Delta cases drive countries into lockdowns, dampening demand for oil. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures were down 1.11 percent ending at $65.95pb. Crude prices traded firmer during Asian trade this morning.

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