Rand slightly calmer after electricity shock
Harmony Gold’s interim earnings are expected to show a big decrease, while SA unemployment is expected to have temporarily improved
Eskom’s worst electricity crisis yet sent the rand to R13.82/$ on Monday night from the R13.58/$ it was trading at before the announcement of the resumption of load-shedding.
The rand was slightly calmer at R13.79/$, R15.55/€ and R17.74/£ at 7am on Tuesday morning.
Harmony Gold Mining Company warned shareholders on February 2 that it expected to report on Tuesday that its interim earnings would be only about a tenth of the matching period’s.
Harmony said it expected to report headline earnings per share (HEPS) of about 18c for the six months to end-December versus R2.24 for the same period in 2017.
The gold miner said its profit was dragged down by booking a R915m depreciation charge for its Hidden Valley project in Papua New Guinea.
It also booked a translation loss of R180m on dollar-denominated debt.
Stats SA is scheduled to release the December quarter’s unemployment figures at 11.30am. The peak summer holiday and Christmas shopping season tends to see temporary jobs created in the hospitality and retail industries, so an improvement from the September quarter’s 27.5% unemployment rate is expected.
Stats SA is scheduled to release December’s manufacturing production and sales report at 1pm. Investec Bank economist Kamilla Kaplan forecast annual growth picked up to about 1.7% from November’s 1.6%, indicating manufacturing would make a positive contribution to SA’s fourth-quarter GDP figures.