Here is what’s happening in the markets:
- Despite being fired from his job as finance minister three months ago – ostensibly so that he could take up a position as head of the Africa region of the New Development Bank (NDB) – Nhlanhla Nene is yet to receive a formal letter of appointment. Treasury announced on Monday that the bank was opening up its offices in Johannesburg.
- Gold companies have been given a boost by the weakening rand, which has sparked a buying spree and a re-rating of South African gold mining shares. Shares have doubled in value in 2016, reaching as high as R20,000 an ounce. However, the boon comes with a warning from economists that fortunes may be temporary, and gains could be cut back down to size.
- South African stocks firmed for a fifth session on Monday as Old Mutual jumped on reports that it was mulling a split of its assets, while resources and the rand rallied on assurances from China that its economy would not lose steam. On Tuesday the rand was trading at R15.34 to the dollar, R21.85 to the pound and R16.90 to the euro.
- In global news, Asian shares fell on Tuesday as investors took profits after a month-long rally and investors grew wary of the market’s near-term prospects ahead of major central bank meetings. US stocks closed mostly higher on Wall Street as another jump in the price of crude oil brought energy companies back in favor.
- Oil prices fell on Tuesday on weak Chinese trading data, but Brent remained over $40 a barrel after jumping to 2016 highs the previous day as producers announced talks to support the market and investors opened new bullish bets. Brent was going at $40.32 a barrel, while US crude was down to $37.48.
In other news: Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni has warned that if the ANC does not implement land reform policies quickly, they will be overtaken by opposition parties – and land reform will happen in a “self-automated process” – referring to land-grabs.