Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The rand slid almost 1% on Thursday morning, leaving it within a whisker of a symbolic R14/$, its weakest level in just more than two weeks.

Markets were on edge again, after the arrest of the Huawei CFO in Canada stoked fresh tension between the US and China.

The executive of the Chinese tech giant is reportedly facing US extradition for allegedly violating Iran sanctions.

The upshot is that the arrest could scupper the trade truce the US and China reached last weekend.

The rand and other emerging-market currencies, including the lira and Indonesia rupiah, were caught up in the fallout. The rand, in particular, is widely regarded as a proxy for emerging markets.

Markets also kept tabs on the oil markets as the Opec summit got under way in Vienna. The oil cartel is set to curb oil output, which will likely help stabilise falling prices.

The spot of international Brent crude was down 1% to $61.07 a barrel in early trade, having dropped about 30% from its recent peak of $87 a barrel, which was the highest in nearly four years, according to Iress data.

The moderation in oil prices help the outlook on inflation, which accelerated to an annual rate of 5.1% in October, from 4.9% in October, according to the Stats SA data.

At 9.12am, the rand was 0.62% weaker against the dollar at R13.9301, 0.48% against the euro at R15.7840 and 0.43% against the pound at R17.7105. The euro was 0.13% weaker at $1.1329.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za