Battered rand slumps to Zuma level as global trade war escalates
Fear of a full-blown US-China trade war has hit the currency, while domestic drivers added to weakness
For the rand, Ramaphoria is over. The currency slumped as much as 2% against the dollar on Tuesday to its weakest level in more than six months — when Jacob Zuma was still president.
It has unwound all the gains it made after Cyril Ramaphosa took over as ANC leader in December.
The rand, which peaked at R11.50 to the dollar earlier in 2018, has been hammered by speculation that US President Donald Trump will spark a full-on trade war with China, fuelling a slide in emerging market assets on concern the global economy will slow.
Domestic drivers include an economy that contracted more than 2% in the first quarter, lingering concerns about the financial viability of state-owned institutions — much of whose debt is backed by the government — infighting within the ANC and the debate about the expropriation of land without compensation.
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