Emerging markets are rebounding from the second-quarter horror show, but for the rand, October still holds large risks. Two events, in particular, loom large: finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s medium-term budget policy statement, and a review of the country’s credit ratings by Moody’s Investors Service. The rand rebounded more than 3% in September after a 9.6% slump in August, the worst for that month on record. It could extend gains as the dollar resumes its long-term decline, according to Nedbank strategists Neels Heyneke and Mehul Daya. Much hinges, however, on Nene, who has to reassure both Moody’s and investors that he has a handle on spending and debt. In 2017, a widening fiscal deficit and slower economic growth projections led S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings to strip the country of its investment rating, sending yields skyrocketing and the rand weaker. That won’t be easy, given that the economy is struggling to emerge from a first-half recession. “October is key,” said C...

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