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Morning report 18.2

17 February 2004 Angelo Coppola

Local equities closed almost one percent higher yesterday while the rand were mostly flat during SA trading hours, reports Nico Kelder, economist at the Efficient Group.

The rand started to gain against the majors after the opening of the US markets. The dollar is weaker against the euro, pushing commodity prices up by around one percent yesterday.

European equity markets closed stronger followed by the US markets; this is most likely related to a weaker dollar. Markets in the Far East are trading higher so far this morning with the Nikkei flat after a strong run yesterday.

We expect local equities to remain flat until the start of the budget speech.

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