The rand has been smashed recently and until early April was the world’s weakest-performing currency for the year, having lost 38% against the US dollar.

It came about as a result of a confluence of factors that created a risk-off environment globally. Obviously the Covid-19 crisis is the major one, causing shock waves through financial markets. But SA’s sovereign debt was also recently downgraded to junk status by Moody’s, and Fitch downgraded SA further into junk territory. These downgrades were expected, and many market analysts had suggested they had been priced in. But the Covid-19 black swan event created a global risk-off environment.

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