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Although Finance Minister Tito Mboweni painted a dire picture of South Africa’s financial future on Wednesday in his medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS), the mining sector’s strong performance boosted the local bourse. At the closing bell, the All Share had gained 0.28%.
Wall Street opened flat on Wednesday due to investors waiting for the US Federal Reserve (Fed) to announce whether it will cut interest rates by 25 basis points, as widely expected. At 19h20, the Dow Jones was 0.08% up.
Wednesday was a flat trading day for European markets as investors awaited the Fed’s decision regarding US interest rates. Although banks dipped around 2%, household goods offset losses by adding 1.50%. At 19h20, the STOXX 600 was up by 0.08%.
Asian indices extended losses into Wednesday as reports from the White House stated that a US-China trade deal might not be reached in time to be signed in Chile next month as expected. At the close of trade, the Hang Seng Index was 0.44% in the red.
Japanese markets pulled back on Wednesday as investors awaited the Fed’s interest rate announcement and as they, once again, saw conflicting reports regarding the US-China trade war deal. The Nikkei closed down 0.57%.
On Wednesday, shortly after Mboweni delivered his MTBPS, the rand fell by 2.50%. However, it made up some ground towards the end of business, strengthening to below R15/$. At 19h20, a dollar traded at R14.98.
Although range-bound, bullion prices rose on Wednesday while investors waited for more clarity around the Fed’s upcoming interest rate statements. At 19h20, gold traded at $1 494.14 per ounce.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday on the back of reports of growing US inventories as well as renewed concerns around the US-China trade dispute, damaging global oil demand. A barrel of Brent crude traded at $60.87 at 19h20.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
Chief Investment Officer