Rand softer, Basil Read leads JSE lower

CAPE TOWN – The rand weakened and was largely range-bound in the absence of market-moving data expected later in the week and subdued trade as UK banks were closed for a holiday.

However, at 5pm, the rand was bid at R13.0466 to the dollar, 2.86c firmer than at the same time on Friday.

“The fact that they are off today (yesterday) means very much a range trading market for us,” said currency trader at Rand Merchant Bank, Jim Bryson, referring to the UK banking holiday.

The rand will look for direction from economic data later in the week in the form of July money supply and private sector credit data tomorrow, as well as producer price inflation figures and trade numbers due on Thursday.

In fixed income, government bonds weakened slightly with the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 up.

Meanwhile, stocks dipped, led lower by construction company Basil Read, which swung to a half-year loss.

The benchmark JSE Top40 index dropped 0.23% to 50058.29 points, while the broader all share dipped 0.18% to 56555.62 points.

Basil Read retreated more than 7% before recovering some of its losses to trade 2.5% weaker at R78 after it swung into a six-month operating and headline loss after its roads and construction divisions performed poorly.

On the global front, oil markets were roiled after Tropical Storm Harvey wreaked havoc along the US Gulf Coast over the weekend, hitting the heart of the US oil and gas industry.

The US dollar dropped to its lowest in roughly 16 months against a basket of major currencies.


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