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

The rand was stronger on Tuesday morning ahead of the release of SA’s economic growth data for the fourth quarter of 2018. 

Investec said on Monday it expected Africa’s most developed economy to have produced growth of just 0.7% for the full year, compared with 1.3% in 2017.

Money manager Vestact said on Tuesday that the expectation was for growth of only 0.6%.

Shortly after 10am, the rand was 0.23% firmer against the dollar at R14.18/$. Against the pound, it was 0.3% stronger at R18.68/£, and 0.37% better against the euro, at R16.05/€.

Other numbers due this week that could influence the rand include SA’s electricity tariff increases for 2019/2020. The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) is expected to make the announcement on Thursday. Power utility Eskom wants a 15% increase in tariffs from April 1.

In the US, nonfarm payroll numbers are due on Friday.

Mercato Financial Services analyst Nico du Plessis said that while the rand “is not a screaming buy”, it has underperformed recently.

This means it is better positioned to weather any volatility that might arise from broader emerging-market currency weakness, Du Plessis said.