Rand edges lower on strong dollar
The rand edged lower on Thursday morning, affected in part by steady bond outflows.
The dollar was also stronger against the basket of currencies ahead of the US non-farm payrolls report on Friday. Economists expect the world’s largest economy to have created 200,000 jobs in November, down from 261,000 in October.
Markets will likely pay more attention to wages growth, which analysts say has a direct effect on inflation, which the US Federal Reserve monitors to decide on interest rates.
However, the focus is more on how the Fed will approach its monetary policy in 2018, with markets having priced another rate hike later in the month, which will be the third for the year.
"Average hourly earnings are reported with the non-farm payroll data and interest in it seems to be overshadowing the job creation or unemployment metrics," said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.
Higher US rates could strengthen the dollar and, in turn, hurt emerging-market currencies.
At 9.59am, the rand was at R13.5883 to the dollar from R13.5051, at R16.0286 to the euro from R15.9306, and at R18.1748 to the pound from R18.0971.
The euro was at $1.1796, unchanged from the previous close from.