Rand mixed as markets await fresh catalysts
The rand was mixed against major global currencies on Monday afternoon, with the tone on international markets still somewhat cautious as what could potentially be a volatile week gets underway.
The euro was stronger against the dollar, with the local currency following suit, but positive UK economic data bolstered the pound.
At 3pm, the rand was at R15.1351 to the dollar, from R15.2269 at its previous close. It was at R17.5748 to the euro from R17.5867, and at R19.7313 to the pound from R19.6830. The euro was at $1.1612 from $1.1549.
Trade-war issues continue to weigh on sentiment, with analysts still watching the White House for an announcement of new tariffs on China.
At the weekend, US President Donald Trump called for global tech giant Apple to shift manufacturing back to the US from China, something which weighed on Asian equity markets on Monday.
The euro found some support, bolstered somewhat by promises by the Italian government to improve its budget balance.
UK economic growth meanwhile quickened in July, growing by 0.3% month on month, ahead of market forecasts of 0.1%.
Local focus is on economic data, including manufacturing data for July on Tuesday.
Earlier, the agribusiness confidence index, which gauges sentiment in the agricultural sector, declined to its lowest level in over two years.
The index fell by six points to 48 in the third quarter of 2018, with analysts saying policy uncertainty and subdued growth in the rest of the economy was behind the drop.
Local bonds ignored the slightly firmer rand. Political risk had risen at the weekend on news that an ANC faction was working on ousting President Cyril Ramaphosa, said Sasfin Securities bond analysts.
"While this may be unconfirmed or perceived to be remote it unfortunately raises the noise levels and undoes much of the bond gains we witnessed in the last half of the week," the analysts said.
At 3pm the benchmark R186 government bond was bid at 9.21% from 9.13%, while the R207 was at 7.85% from 7.77%.