The rand was weaker on Tuesday morning, as it was caught up in global sentiment. Equities were under the cosh, resuming the downward spiral that has been in force in recent months. Catalysts were plentiful, although not necessarily new. The budget standoff between Italy and the EU was one concern. “Yesterday’s response by the Italian government on the first official rebuke by the European commission on its 2019 budget plans was one of defiance,” UK-based Rabobank International analysts Elwin de Groot and Bas van Geffen wrote in a note. “Given Italy’s defiance, EU commissioners may follow up the EC’s official warning with a negative opinion on the budget as early as today, after their meeting in Strasbourg. Such a move would be unprecedented and would give Italy three weeks to ‘correct’ its plans. Despite the offer for ‘constructive talks’ it seems that there is no easy way out from the current standoff between Italy and the commission." The weaker rand comes on the eve of a crucial ...

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