Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The rand held its own on Friday morning, suggesting that some traders were taking an optimistic view in the brewing conflict between North Korea and the US.

The local currency held up to the dollar and other major currencies, marking a contrast to other global markets that were visibly shaky as the war of words between the two countries threatened to descend into a military confrontation.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to retaliate if North Korea follows through on its promise to attack Guam, a Pacific territory where the US has a naval base.

The escalation in war rhetoric prompted investors to seek safety in gold and other traditional safe-haven assets.

Emerging markets tend to be affected when global risk sentiment sours.

But the rand was relatively stable on Friday morning, having been volatile for the better part of the week. The rand was shaken by the vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma earlier this week, which Zuma survived.

At 9.18am, the rand was at R13.4451 to the dollar from R13.4607, at R15.8081 to the euro from R15.8471, and at R17.4522 to the pound from R17.4682.

The euro was at $1.1757 from $1.1773.

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