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

The rand steadied on Thursday morning, but was in much better shape than at the start of the week, when it touched a one-month low against the dollar.

The recovery in the value of the local currency came amid signs of improving global sentiment.

Investors tiptoed into risky assets, helping to pull the rand from a one-month low of R14.48/$, to highs of R14.04/$ before settling at about R14.08.

The easing US-China trade tension was the chief catalyst behind the improving investor sentiment, though signs of easing UK Brexit concerns added a positive undertone to the markets

This was after UK Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote from her own party late on Wednesday. May has come under criticism from some of her own colleagues regarding the terms of the draft Brexit deal with the EU.

"As tensions between the US and China appear to thaw, so global barometers of risk appetite improve to further assist sentiment across emerging markets," Mercato Financial Services analyst Nico du Plessis said.

"As a show of good faith, China has started to step up its purchases of US goods and is considering easing some of its tariffs."

At 10.04am, the rand was 0.09% better at R14.0847/$. It gained 0.07% to R16.0363/€ but was 0.19% softer against the pound at R17.8319/£. The euro was 0.14% firmer to the dollar at $1.1329.

Local bonds were a little stronger, too, with the yield on the benchmark R186 improving to 9.095%, from 9.15% at its last settlement.