The dollar and the rand. Picture: REUTERS, SIPHIWE SIBEKO
The dollar and the rand. Picture: REUTERS, SIPHIWE SIBEKO

The rand was firmer against major global currencies on Tuesday afternoon, buoyed by a weaker greenback, after US President Donald Trump accused China and Russia of currency manipulation.

Trump’s tweet contradicted the US treasury department’s decision to pass on labeling China as currency manipulator on Friday, and suggested that underneath it all, the White House wanted to escalate rather than reduce tension with China, said BK Asset Management MD Kathy Lien.

The pound also gave back some the gains it made this week, following the release of downbeat employment data earlier. Sterling has recently reached post-Brexit highs due to optimism regarding negotiations between the UK and EU.

The rand posted its strongest gains against the euro, which came under selling pressure after a downbeat reading of German economic sentiment for April.

Analysts expect the rand to be somewhat range-bound until Wednesday, when both US and domestic consumer inflation data will be released.

At 3pm, the rand was at R12.0189 to the dollar from R12.0507, R14.8402 to the euro from R14.9181, and at R17.2112 to the pound from R17.2790. The euro was at $1.2348, from $1.2379.

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