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

The rand was a little stronger on Friday morning, after another wild week for the local currency.

The rand held its own for the better part of the week, before unravelling late on Thursday as the dollar flexed its muscles against a basket of currencies.

Several factors have weighed on risk sentiment this week, including the release of minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting, which the markets interpreted as leaning towards more increases in interest rates.

"Sentiment across the globe has remained cautious at best this week but all things considered, I think investors will be heading into the weekend somewhat relieved," Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam said.

Asian share markets were higher, shaking off early losses, which coincided with  data showing that Chinese GDP grew at a lower rate in the second quarter, relative to market expectations. China is the world’s second-largest economy and the top consumer of mineral resources, which SA produces.

The medium-term budget policy statement is likely to take centre stage next week, where new finance minister Tito Mboweni is expected to put flesh on the bones of the stimulus package unveiled by President Cyril Ramaphosa recently.

The budget speech comes amid the poor backdrop of a contracting economy, which is likely to put strain on the government to collect sufficient taxes.

At 9.32am the rand was at R14.4081 to the dollar from R14.4519, at R16.4854 to the euro from R16.5493 and at R18.7648 to the pound from R18.8096. The euro was at $1.1442 from $1.1451.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za

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