Picture: SIMON DAWSON/BLOOMBERG
Picture: SIMON DAWSON/BLOOMBERG

The rand was slightly softer against major global currencies on Wednesday morning, with markets treading water pending fresh catalysts.

Traders are keeping an eye on the US-China trade talks, while the European Central Bank’s (ECB) interest rate announcement on Thursday could also give the market some direction.

US nonfarm payrolls data on Friday is the week’s main international economic release.

At 9.30am the rand was 0.42% weaker at R14.222/$, 0.33% softer at R16.0692/€, while remaining flat at R18.6743/£. The euro was flat at $1.1298.

The local currency had firmed on Tuesday, supported by positive economic data.

SA’s GDP growth in 2018 beat expectations, with the economy expanding 0.8% during the year, slightly better than the 0.7% forecast by the Reserve Bank.

This was positive, but still a tepid rate of growth, said Standard Bank currency trader Warrick Butler.

Although there was little to give the market direction on Wednesday, there seemed to be some momentum in favour of the dollar, he said.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za