South Africa’s Rand Softens As Trade Fears Offset Rate Hike

Whatapp News

JOHANNESBURG    –     South Africa’s rand retreated in thin trade on Friday after hitting its highest level in more than three months in the previous session when the central bank hiked interest rates.

At 0700 GMT the rand was 0.2 percent weaker at 13.7875 per dollar, easing along with other emerging market currencies as investors eyed developments in the U.S.-China trade standoff ahead of a meeting between the two on the sidelines of the G20 in Buenos Aires.

The rand advanced more than 1 percent to 13.7150 on Thursday, its best since August 10, after the Reserve Bank (SARB) raised rates by 25 basis points to 6.75 percent.

The Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. on Thursday is expected to limit trading volumes on Friday.

“While USD/ZAR is unlikely to stabilise in the short term, given current global-environment uncertainty and rand vulnerability to that environment, the hike should act to anchor the currency and tighten its trading range around our fair-value estimate of 14.20,” said analysts from RMB in a note.

Bonds were flat after rallying following the rate hike. The benchmark 2026 government bond traded at 8.94 percent.

Stocks opened weaker, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index down 0.77 percent at 44,650 points.(Reuters)