Economic update ahead of Budget Speech

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The rand is trading slightly weaker at R11.73 to the dollar; R16.38 to the pound sterling, and R14.49 to the euro. The euro is trading at $1.23, the dollar is at 107.16 Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan is at R1.84, and in India one rand is worth five-rupees-51.

In Nigeria, one dollar is trading at 305.75 Naira; in Kenya a dollar costs 101.20 Shillings, and in Botswana one dollar changes hands at 9.48 Pula.

Stock Markets

Japan’s Nikkei closed one per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was zero-point-eight per cent down at the close of trade, but markets in mainland China are still closed for the Lunar New Year holidays, while the SENSEX on India’s Bombay stock exchange is currently trading flat.

The JSE is lower at midday. The All Share index has declined by 1.5% to 57 840; Financials are one per cent weaker, and the Industrial 25 index is 1.7% lower. The Top 10 Resources index has lost 1.5%; the platinum mining index is 0.6% down, and the gold mining index has tumbled by 3.2%.

On the capital market, the yield on the R186 government bond is at 8.12%.

European markets are flat.

Britain’s FTSE 100 has shed 0.1%; the CAC 40 in France is 0.2% up, and Germany’s DAX has added 0.1%.

Commodities prices are weaker on the back of a stronger dollar against a basket of major currencies.

Gold is trading at 1 337 dollars and platinum is at 1001 dollars per ounce.

The price of Brent crude oil is at 65-dollars-27-cents a barrel.