Here’s what is happening in the markets:
- The ANC is crying foul after its manifesto launch in Nelson Mandela bay over the weekend only drew 30,000 of the expected 110,000 voters. The party was left red-faced, looking for excuses – blaming buses that failed to pitch, and now sabotage. Some in the party blamed “provincial power brokers” for making sure that buses full of ANC supporters didn’t arrive, in an attempt to damage the party’s reputation in the province.
- President Jacob Zuma’s antics may have done damage to more than just himself and the ANC, with analysts saying that the president’s ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s chances at the top job have also been hit. Experts argue that the ANC will want to move away from the Zuma name – and that deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa would be the best avenue to move away from his legacy.
- South Africa’s rand retreated slightly against the dollar on Friday but was still on track for a weekly rise, with more gains possible next week should US data continue to point to the Federal Reserve holding off a rate hike. On Monday the rand was trading at R14.69 to the dollar, R20.79 to the pound and R16.57 to the euro.
- In global news, tumbling crude oil futures knocked Asian shares on Monday after producers’ weekend talks failed to agree a plan to curb the global supply glut, while Tokyo stocks slumped as investors assessed the impact of a devastating earthquake in southwestern Japan. Wall Street dipped on Friday as oil price declines weighed on energy shares and Apple dragged on the market, but major indexes still posted gains for the week.
- Oil prices tumbled on Monday after a meeting by major producers in Qatar collapsed without an agreement to freeze output, leaving the credibility of the OPEC producer cartel in tatters and the world awash with unwanted fuel. Brent crude futures fell as much as 6% in early trading on Monday before recovering to $41.29 per barrel. US crude futures were down 4.6% at $38.49 a barrel.
In other news: Members of the controversial MMM “donation platform” could be liable to pay taxes if they have “donated” more than R100,000 in any given tax year. The scheme, started by a convicted Russian fraudster, is currently being investigated as being a potential Ponzi scheme.