Rand slightly firmer, but still above R14/$
The rand weakened overnight, as Eskom’s electricity problems and poor retail sales data weighed on sentiment
The rand had recovered slightly from overnight losses on Thursday morning, but remained above R14/$ and R18/£, as domestic problems continue to weigh on sentiment.
Disappointing retail sales data on Wednesday, as well as a fourth day of load-shedding on Thursday, is keeping the local currency under pressure.
At 10am, the rand was 0.33% firmer at R14.0173/$, 0.11% stronger at R15.8201/€, and R18.029/£. The euro was 0.23% weaker at $1.1286.
“The corrective trend we have had this year is only negated by a move above R14.75/$, but it is going to take a brave or silly man to continue to sell the dollar whilst the Eskom mess unravels,” said Standard Bank currency trader Warrick Butler.
Local focus on Thursday will be on mining figures for December, due at 11.30am.
The economists’ consensus is that the annual decline in SA’s mining production will slow to about 0.6% in December from November’s 5.6%.
International focus is on US-China trade talks, which begin in Beijing on Thursday.
US President Donald Trump’s comments on Tuesday that he may opt not to impose further import tariffs on China on March 1 has provided some support to risk assets this week.