Picture: REUTERS/JASON LEE
Picture: REUTERS/JASON LEE

The rand was mixed against major global currencies on Tuesday afternoon, firming slightly against the dollar, but slightly weaker against the euro and pound.

All eyes are on the dollar, which rallied on Monday, pushing past the key $1.13 to the euro level. The rand generally tracks the euro.

At 2pm the rand was 0.25% weaker to the dollar at R14.4446, 0.08% firmer to the euro at R16.2554 and up 0.33% to the pound at R18.6641. The euro was 0.33% firmer to the dollar at $1.1254.

The bid on the benchmark R186 government 10-year note was at 9.25% from Monday’s close of 9.21%.

With no further momentum, for now, the euro and dollar could be content to settle a little bit, and the dollar could give up some of its gains should there be progress on the Italian budget front, said BK Asset Management MD Boris Schlossberg.

Political issues in Europe, including Brexit negotiations and a conflict between Rome and Brussels over the former’s budget deficit plans, are currently weighing on markets.

The oil price is also being watched, while focus later in the week is expected to shift to US inflation data on Thursday. This print will be key in terms of speculation around the pace of US Federal Reserve monetary policy tightening.

The rand has lost about 16% against the dollar so far in 2018, according to Iress data, hurt in part by emerging-market bond outflows, which for SA amount to more than R55bn.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za