Rand weakens ahead of the state of the nation address
Markets are waiting for a Bank of England monetary policy decision at 2pm, while local focus is squarely on the state of the nation address
The rand was mildly weaker on Thursday morning, trading at a one-week low to the dollar, ahead of possible volatility later.
Some pressure is being brought to bear on emerging-market currencies, with risk-off trade in the market due to ongoing concerns about the US-China trade war. Analysts have cited a lack of clear signs of progress in the trade talks, as a March 1 deadline for an agreement looms.
At 9.45am the rand was down 0.43% to $13.6026/$, 0.39% weaker at R15.4476/€ and 0.43% softer at R17.5827/£. The euro was flat at $1.1357.
President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address at 7pm is hogging the spotlight locally, although it may be delayed, as the EFF has said it will disrupt the event.
The speech will be delivered under a cloud of corruption, maladministration, dysfunctional state-owned enterprises, an exhausted fiscus and an even more exhausted private sector, said Mercato Financial Services analyst Nico du Plessis. “The stakes are sky high and expectations even higher.”