Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

The rand was slightly firmer against the dollar just before midday on Wednesday following a volatile earlier session in which it lost 7c before clawing back its losses.

The rand has been under pressure over the past few weeks, firm on its weakening unlike most emerging market currencies.

While an uptick in global economic growth, especially in developed markets, and improved earnings results have supported emerging-market currencies, the rand and the Mexican peso have not been on the receiving end of the improved global sentiment.

The chance of a ratings downgrade at the end of the month has contributed to the rand’s weakness, while the uncertainty around the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) has put pressure on the peso.

Mild dollar weakness, which reflects the markets’ frustration with delayed US tax cuts, has cushioned the rand from further weakness.

TreasuryOne dealer Andre Botha said that while the rand had received some much-needed relief from further weakness, this was partly because market participants were becoming slightly disillusioned with US tax reform plans.

At 11.30 am, the rand was R14.3333 to the dollar from R14.3644, at R16.9803 to the euro from R16.9479, and at R18.9803 to the pound from R18.9112.

The euro was at $1.1846 from $1.1797.

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