The rand was a little firmer against major global currencies on Tuesday afternoon, benefiting from a weaker dollar environment. All eyes are on the US Federal Reserve monetary policy announcement on Wednesday, with markets expecting the Fed to once again adopt a dovish tone, and possibly downgrade its growth forecasts for 2019. Pressure on the dollar has boosted the gold price, to the benefit of SA, which is a major producer. Gold has found favour due to the dovish stance taken by central banks around the world, and the dollar has “hit a ceiling”, said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam. Some focus on Wednesday will also be on local data, with both retail sales numbers for January and the February inflation rate due. Better-than-expected numbers could benefit the rand, but the local currency’s longer-term outlook remained dependent on international factors, said FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga. At 2pm, the rand the rand was up 0.45% to R14.3737/$, 0.27% at R16.3235/€ and 0.23% at R19.08...

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