Rand trades weaker as focus turns to the US
The rand extended its losses against the dollar on Thursday, but had retraced from its weaker intra-day levels just before midday.
The strengthening momentum of the rand has waned with the market’s focus now on the US, where negotiations between the Congress and the Senate are hoped to be settled soon so the tax bill can be passed.
US non-farm payrolls data to be released on Friday is another key market focus as it will indicate whether another interest-rate increase is in the pipeline before the end of the year.
The passing of the US tax-reform bill and an interest-rate increase would be a victory for US President Donald Trump’s administration.
The rand’s moves will then depend on local politics ahead of the ANC’s national elective conference starting on December 16.
Momentum SP Reid analysts said that the near-term trend indicators for the rand show that additional advances are ultimately on the cards, however, in the very short term, a touch of weakness will materialise.
At 11.30am‚ the rand was at R13.5673 to the dollar from R13.5051‚ at R16.0047 to the euro from R15.9306‚ and at R18.1559 to the pound from R18.0971.
The euro was at $1.1795 from $1.1796.