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

The rand was slightly firmer against major global currencies on Friday morning, extending gains made on Thursday, as improving investor sentiment continued to filter into market activity.

Few risk events lie on the horizon heading into the weekend, with analysts saying the market would be watching for further trade developments and corporate earnings reports.

The local currency was 1.93% firmer against the dollar on Thursday, when the US and China said they would resume attempts to resolve their trade differences.

Local data was upbeat, with mining and manufacturing data beating economists’ expectations, and giving some justification for the hope that SA’s economic recovery accelerated in the second quarter.

In other positive news, President Cyril Ramaphosa secured a $10bn investment from Saudi Arabia during his state visit to the oil-rich nation. The energy investment follows a £50m commitment from the UK in the same sector earlier this year.

On Friday morning the rand had firmed most against the pound, and earlier reached a four-week high of R13.22 against the dollar.

The oil price continued to fall, despite warnings in some quarters of a tight supply, having been under pressure this week as Libya resumed exports.

At 9.10am the rand was at R13.3044 to the dollar from R13.3038, R15.4827 against the euro from R15.5251, and at R17.4933 to the pound from R17.5699.

Local bonds were better bid, continuing to find support from a firmer rand.

The benchmark R186 bond was at 8.68% from 8.73%, while the R207 was at 7.405% from 7.45%.

Brent crude was 0.66% lower at $73.94 a barrel.