Here’s what is happening in the markets today:
- A new report by the The Employment Equity Commission (EEC) shows that white males still control business in South Africa, with affirmative action stats for 2015/16 reflecting the same story as 2014/15 – that black economic empowerment was moving painfully slow, while white males continue to command top jobs. The group wants to set up workshops to find out why.
- Letters of reprimand sent by president Jacob Zuma to three ministers involved with the Nkandla saga have been dismissed as a farce by opposition parties. The letters were delivered to public works minister Thulas Nxesi; former police minister Nathi Mthethwa and former public works minister Geoff Doidge.
- South Africa’s main stock index ended lower on Friday, extending losses to the second straight session with Steinhoff among the biggest decliners as it slugged it out with a French rival for Darty, Europe’s third-largest retailer. On Monday, the rand was trading at R14.42 to the dollar, R20.86 to the pound and R16.24 to the euro.
- In global news, Asian shares dropped on Monday while the dollar slipped as investors took profits from the currency’s recent gains ahead of central bank meetings in the United States and Japan this week. Wall Street finished flat on Friday after disappointing quarterly reports from Microsoft and Alphabet slammed tech stocks, while a surge in oil prices lifted energy shares.
- Oil prices fell over 1% on Monday as traders took profits after three weeks of gains and as a jump in the dollar late last week was priced into fuel markets. Brent crude was trading at $44.61 per barrel, down 50 US cents, or 1.1 percent, from their last settlement. US futures were down 62 US cents at $43.11 a barrel. Analysts said the price drops were a result of cashing in after three weeks of rising prices.
In other news: The DA launched its election manifesto this weekend in Gauteng – however the party’s mayoral candidate for the city of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, was a no-show. Analysts say that Mashaba’s absence could hurt the party’s plans to take the city. According to DA leader Mmusi Maimane, Mashaba’s plane from China was delayed.