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Market Commentary | The week that was

On Friday, 29 July, Eskom’s Chief Executive Officer, André de Ruyter, engaged with CEOs and leaders of more than 70 private institutions to encourage investment and energy sector partnerships with the struggling power utility. The meeting was led by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Business Leadership South Africa (BUSA). Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, was quoted saying: “Energy is not coffee; you will never get instant solutions”.

Good news for consumers is that the price of petrol (93 and 95 ULP and LRP) will drop by R1.32/litre; 0.05% sulphur diesel by R0.88/litre; and 0.005% sulphur diesel by R0.91/litre on Wednesday. According to Minister Mantashe the main reasons for the fuel price adjustments are due to the average Brent Crude oil price decreasing from $115.77 per barrel to $105 during the period under review; lower crude oil demand due to recession concerns; Covid-19 resurging in China; and OPEC and non-OPEC members deciding to increase oil production.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa scrapped licensing regulations for private power generators in a move to assist in solving the energy crisis. Private producers will be allowed to build power plants with unlimited capacity without requiring a license, compared with a previous cap of 100 megawatts.

On 27 July Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve (FED), raised US interest rates by 75 basis points for a second consecutive month. Powell suggested a similar move is possible in September, depending on the data. Powell added that rates are "in the range" of what the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) considers “neutral”. In June US inflation was measured at 9.1%, year-on-year.

Looking at the week ahead; key stats locally including - South Africa PMI & Vehicle Sales; while former South African president Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial resumes.

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