Here’s what is happening in the markets:
- South African state broadcaster the SABC has announced that it will no longer be showing “violent protests” on any of its channels, and has appealed to other media to do the same. The SABC said that showing violent protests encouraged others to do the same. It said that by not showing them, it will send a message to protesters that their actions won’t get attention.
- The state fuel fund has defended the sale of 10 million barrels of reserve oil, denying that fuel security in the country has been compromised, and even though it has less than a day’s worth of reserves in case of an emergency, government can tap into privately held reserves if needs be. The CEF said the country has 90 days’ worth of stock in reserve.
- South Africa’s rand firmed late on Thursday as improved global risk appetite helped shift focus away from the possibility of a credit downgrade, while stocks also rose as retailers reported robust sales. On Friday the rand was trading at R15.55 to the dollar, R22.81 to the pound and R17.40 to the euro.
- In global news, Asian stocks pulled ahead on Friday after US data continued to put the economy in a positive light, while the dollar was on the defensive against major peers. Wall Street treaded water on Thursday following two days of strong gains as advancing defensive sectors offset declines in materials, banks and other cyclical industries.
- Oil futures fell further in Asian trade on Friday after running into resistance at the $50 a barrel mark, as investors worried higher prices could reactivate shuttered crude output, adding to global oversupply. Brent crude fell 36 cents to $49.23, retreating further from the previous session’s $50.51 peak. US crude dropped 35 cents to $49.13 a barrel after touching $50.21 on Thursday.
In other news: Union Solidarity has an extensive legal plan to tackle racial quotas and government’s meddling in sport. This follows an April victory for Solidarity in the South African Labour Court which found that the use of a quota system in the workplace is unlawful.