Rand remains strong despite some profit-taking on bonds and equities
The Rand retreated back to R18.17 levels at one point yesterday as we saw some profit-taking in both the local bond and equity markets. The JSE ended 0.79% weaker, while the 10-year government bond closed at 9.79%, up from the previous day’s 9.75% close.

This morning, we have the local currency trading marginally firmer against the Dollar at R17.96 while it is showing some good gains against both the Euro and Pound at R19.2550 and R22.7500, respectively.

Dollar gains despite softer jobs and economic data
US new jobless claims were up at 238k versus market estimates of 235k, while both US housing starts and building permits were negative in May. The Dollar, however, still firmed on the day after Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari said that inflation would likely take 2 years to reach the Fed’s 2.0% target, and US bond yields ended higher.

The Pound has retreated to 1.2670 levels after the BOE kept interest rates unchanged and the UK bond yields slipped lower.

Today we have a whole host of PMI data due for release with the main focus on the US manufacturing and services numbers.

Precious metals open firmer while Brent crude holding steady
The Gold price remains quite buoyant at $2,363 as it gains support from September Fed rate-cut bets and the deteriorating geopolitical developments in the Middle East.

Platinum and Palladium have also opened firmer at $986 and $935 respectively while Brent crude is steady at $85.65. The Middle East tensions and higher demand hopes are currently underpinning the price of oil.