Here’s what is happening in the markets:
- SA president Jacob Zuma says he will join the NPA in appealing the High Court ruling saying corruption charges should be reinstated against him. In a statement, the presidency said that the ruling affects Zuma directly, and the president believes the Court erred on several aspects of its ruling.
- Economists are surprisingly optimistic that South Africa will avoid a ratings downgrade to junk in June 2016. Ratings agencies S&P and Fitch have South Africa one notch above junk – the former with a negative outlook – though prominent economists say it is plausible and possible for the groups to give the country a conditional reprieve.
- South Africa’s rand weakened nearly 1 percent on Monday as the dollar gained on rising expectations of a US interest rate hike, while mining shares were hit by softer commodity prices. On Tuesday the rand was trading at R15.79 to the dollar, R22.87 to the pound and R17.71 to the euro.
- In global news, Asian shares fell to near 10-week lows on Tuesday and the US dollar pared some of its recent losses as investors worried about the likelihood of a US interest rate increase in coming weeks.
- Oil prices fell in thin trade on Tuesday as the US dollar strengthened, but losses were curbed by a likely drawdown in US crude and gasoline stockpiles. Brent futures had declined 24 cents to $48.11 a barrel, while US crude futures dropped 20 cents to $47.88 a barrel.
In other news: A new study by New Zealand researchers has found that children’s toys are becoming increasingly more ‘violent‘. Researchers found that 40% of Lego building block kits come with some type of weapon in it.