Picture: 123RF/LEON SWART
Picture: 123RF/LEON SWART

The rand was relatively stable on Friday morning, and headed for its best week against the beleaguered pound in about nine weeks.

The fallout from the failure of the UK's Brexit plan is on traders’ radars, overshadowing the controversial and divisive land reform debate, which has previously hurt the rand.

"May has seen her plans for 'Shmexit' torn apart: that is what one could dub a Brexit that is literally leaving the EU, but which in no way regains sovereignty in key areas, and which might be impossible to ever change further unilaterally," UK-based Rabobank International analyst Michael Every said in a note.

"Indeed, we have seen a swathe of key ministerial resignations, and suggestions there are enough MPs’ votes in hand to trigger a leadership election as soon as next week."

The pound tanked against a host of currencies on the news, but has since stabilised at lower levels as markets await further developments.

The rand has benefited from the ensuing market volatility, settling a hefty 3% stronger against the pound on Thursday night. Local bonds have benefited, too.

The local currency has fared better against the dollar so far this week, strengthening the case for a big cut in fuel prices in December.

According to AA, the petrol price is likely to be cut by R1.54 a litre, diesel by 92c and illuminating paraffin 85c.

The expected drop in fuel prices comes as oil prices fall: Brent crude is about 10% lower in November, according to Iress data.

At 10.12am, the rand was 0.2% softer against the dollar at R14.2075, 0.32% weaker against the euro at R16.12 and 0.36% softer against the pound at R18.1858. The euro was 0.14% stronger to $1.1346.

The yield on the benchmark R186 bond slipped to 9.145% in early trade, from 9.17% at its last settlement.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za