The South African rand. Picture: REUTERS
The South African rand. Picture: REUTERS

The rand was firmer against major global currencies on Friday afternoon, with emerging-market currencies finding support from a weaker dollar environment.

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump criticised the US Federal Reserve on its rate-hiking cycle, in what is an unusual move for a sitting president.

"Ultimately, I don’t expect the Fed to be influenced but that doesn’t mean Trump won’t find an alternative way to deal with the issues, even if such solutions are controversial and prove ineffective or self-defeating," said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam.

Markets were also reacting to a fall by the Chinese yuan, which earlier reached a one-year low against the dollar. This followed a decision by Beijing to devalue it by 0.9%.

Data releases on Friday were limited, with analysts expecting the rand to take the bulk of its direction from international factors.

At 3pm the rand was at R13.4017 to the dollar from R13.5388, R15.6991 to the euro from R15.7643, and at R17.532 to the pound from R17.6212. The euro was at $1.1714 from $1.1643.

Local bonds were little changed, with the benchmark R186 bid at 8.725%, while the R207 was at 7.445% from 7.435%.