Rand steadies after week of huge swings

26 October 2018 - 11:20
By Andries Mahlangu
The rand recovered after a roller coaster week.
Image: 123 RF/Stock The rand recovered after a roller coaster week.

The rand steadied on Friday morning after another roller-coaster week for the local currency and broader markets.

TreasuryOne senior currency dealer Andre Botha said the rand was still recovering from the hangover of the medium-term budget policy statement‚ which had blindsided the markets.

The backlash played out in a much weaker rand and local bonds‚ though they have since stabilised somewhat. The upward revision in the projected government budget deficit and associated deterioration in the government debt-to-GDP ratio has revived concern that SA could be stripped of its investment-grade status.

Global markets continue to be jittery‚ casting a shadow over the recovery of the rand and local bonds‚ which tend to suffer more during bouts of global risk aversion.

“After speaking of the [budget] possibly ad nauseam this week‚ we turn our attention to other potential drivers of local financial markets‚” Rand Merchant Bank analyst Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana said.

“The rand‚ though impervious to the global equities' volatility for much of the week‚ is now moving in lock-step with its compatriot emerging-market currencies‚ trading 1.4% weaker than Monday’s open.”

At 9:40am the rand was at R14.6058 to the dollar from R14.6271‚ at R16.6201 to the euro from R16.6367 and at R18.7205 to the pound from R18.7392. The euro was at $1.1379 from $1.1373.

The yield on the benchmark R186 bond was 9.35%‚ from 9.37% at its last settlement.