The rand was mixed against major global currencies on Thursday afternoon, extending losses against the dollar after downbeat local data. SA’s manufacturing production grew 0.3% on an annualised basis in January, well below the Bloomberg forecast of growth of 1.2%. SA’s economy has clearly faltered at the start of 2019, but activity should pick up during the course of the year, said Capital Economics senior emerging-markets economist John Ashbourne. At 2pm, the rand had recovered 0.28% to R19.1887/£, while it had weakened 0.37% to R14.482/$ and 0.11% to R16.3596/€. International focus is squarely on Brexit. British MPs narrowly voted to reject a no-deal Brexit on Wednesday night, setting the stage for another vote on Thursday night on whether to request an extension of the March 29 deadline to exit the EU. The pound rallied as a result, with the rand slipping to its worst level against sterling since November 2018.

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