Rand stabilises as troops sent in to restore order

Image: 123RF/ ALLAN SWART

The rand stabilised on Tuesday morning, a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa beefed up law enforcement agencies in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, which have been plagued by widespread looting of shopping malls.

In a televised address to the nation on Monday night, Ramaphosa confirmed the deployment of the SA National Defence Force to help police restore law and order after the days of looting emptied shopping centres, disrupted supply chains and raised concerns of a potential crunch in the supply of basic consumer goods.

Retailers were left counting the costs, which runs into millions of rand, according to Consumer Goods Council of SA, which represents about 9,000 members along the retail value chain.

The rand, which reflects market concerns about the effect of violent protests on the economy, recovered 0.18% to trade at R14.3797/$ at 7.15am on Tuesday, after falling as much nearly 2%, the most in six months.

The looting has a cast a further shadow on recovery of the economy, which has been battered by fallout of the Covid-19.

The JSE, which is dominated by companies that make most of their revenue outside SA, is likely to go higher in line with other global markets.

Tencent, which can give direction to the JSE via the Naspers stable, added 4% in Hong Kong. The shares of the Chinese internet titan are recovering after falling as much as 10% in July amid jitters of a regulatory crackdown in communist state.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 up 0.57% and China’s Shanghai Composite 0.24%, after a record close on Wall Street on Monday.

Commodity prices were positive, with Brent crude picking up 0.27% to $75 a barrel.


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