Here’s what’s happening in the markets
- Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has again spoken out about a purported Hawks investigation focussing on him, saying that he will address the issues raised once “legal matters” have been clarified. According to the minister, the Hawks have yet to produce a precise legislative reason for why they’re asking him questions. The minister has accused the investigative group of intimidation and harassment.
- The 2016 Municipal Elections may run into some big issues, as the Independent Electoral Commission is running into problems verifying addresses. This follows a Constitutional Court ordered that it should hold fresh elections in the Tlokwe municipality in North West, after it emerged that voters did not live in the wards they claimed they did. However, as many as 4,000 addresses are missing, as people do not have permanent residential addresses.
- South Africa’s rand recovered against the dollar on Friday, tracking gains in emerging market currencies as expectations of a long period of low global borrowing costs lured bulls back to high-yielding assets. On Monday, the rand was trading at R15.27 against the dollar, R21.94 to the pound and R17.01 to the euro.
- In global news, Asian shares began a central-bank focused week on firm footing on Monday, buoyed by gains on Wall Street and glimmers of strength in weekend data from China. On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P 500 rallied on Friday to their best close of 2016 as investors embraced the European Central Bank’s stimulus measures and steadying oil prices drove up energy shares.
- Oil prices were stable in early trading on Monday, with global oversupply and slowing economic growth weighing on markets but prospects of falling production lending some support. US crude was trading at $38.41 per barrel, down 10 cents, and international Brent was up 6 cents at $40.45 a barrel.
In other news: Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has called for the cost of private health care in South Africa to be regulated to improve access for the majority of South Africans. The minister plugged the government’s National Health plan, by saying that the solution to fight high private health costs is to build a single fund to ensure access to good quality, affordable health care for the entire population, and not for a select group of people.