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Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The rand held steady against the dollar on Monday morning, a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa tested positive for Covid-19, indicating the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant.

The accompanying rates of hospital admissions and deaths have been low, suggesting that stricter lockdown measures are unlikely in the short term. 

The national coronavirus command council is expected map out the way forward this week following the surge in cases in the economic heartland of Gauteng in particular.

The rand was steady at R15.95/$ in early trade, while the JSE was poised to ride positive momentum from Asia, where Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1% and 0.87%, respectively.

US stock futures pointed to a higher opening on Wall Street, which is hovering near record levels across the main stock market indices.

The US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on Wednesday is the main highlight of the week. The Fed is likely to prepare the ground for the potential increases in interest rates by announcing an acceleration in the pace at which it is winding down its huge bond-buying programme.

US consumer inflation grew at an annual rate of 6.8% in November, the highest since 1982, data showed on Friday.

Brent crude was up 2.76% to $76.08 per barrel in early trade, boding well for JSE-listed Sasol and MTN, the two stocks that are sensitive the movement in oil prices.

Platinum was up 1% to 955.50/oz while palladium rose 1.27% to $1,781.50/oz.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za

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