JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand strengthened as much as 1.3 percent against the dollar on Monday, buoyed along with other emerging market currencies by lessening fears of Britain voting to leave the European Union.
It rallied to 14.9900/dollar, its strongest for a week, and was up 1.2 percent at 15.0100 by 0644 GMT, compared with Friday’s close of 15.1950, as investors’ appetite for risk improved.
The rand took its cue from Asian markets which gained across the board as opinion polls showed the campaign to keep Britain in the EU had recovered momentum. The referendum is on Thursday.
“EM currencies are strengthening this morning on the back of the new Brexit polls,” Standard Bank said in a note.
“The rand has strengthened to trade around 15.00, looking set to break below this level today.”
Government bonds ticked higher, and the yield on the 2026 benchmark dipped half a basis point to 9.06 percent.
South African stocks also looked set to open firmer at 0700 GMT, with the JSE exchange’s Top-40 futures index adding 1.3 percent.(Reuters)