South African rand notes in a file photo. Picture: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
South African rand notes in a file photo. Picture: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The rand was weaker against major global currencies on Friday afternoon, with few catalysts in the market.

Markets are watching a scheduled meeting of the world’s top oil producing nations, starting on Friday, amid oil prices that have reached multi-year highs. Members of oil cartel Opec and nonmembers are meeting in Saudi Arabia, where they are expected extend a 2016 deal to cut oil supplies to boost prices.

A tweet by US President Donald Trump referred to oil prices as being "artificially high," and that this was "not acceptable". This put pressure on prices, with the gold price following suit. A firmer gold price, along with many other commodities, generally lends support to the rand.

The calendar is bare in terms of major economic data releases on Friday, capping what many have said was a tranquil week on world markets.

"No doubt that market participants are likely to leave work early today," said Rand Merchant Bank’s Mpho Tsebe.

At 3pm, the rand was at R12.0462 to the dollar from R11.9579, R14.8053 to the euro from R14.7639 and at R16.9090 to the pound from R16.8408.

The euro was at $1.229, from $1.2345.

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