Rand slips a little amid trade war concerns
Fears over trade war and global growth weigh on the local currency, with domestic focus on the looming national elections
The rand was weaker against major global currencies on Friday morning, retreating back above R14/$ amid some caution on global markets.
International focus is on US corporate earnings, but sentiment has been dented this week by continued concerns that the trade war will further hobble global economic growth.
US President Donald Trump has threatened to levy tariffs on $11bn worth of EU goods, in retaliation for subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
The rand had firmed below R14/$ this week for the first time since late February, continuing to find favour after an upbeat opinion of SA by Moody’s Investors Service.
This level, however, was likely to be unsustainable, said Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking strategist Mehul Daya. “The market, in our view, has priced in too much optimism on the back of both Moody’s inaction and general emerging market optimism,” he said. Complacency regarding the rand was reflected in implied volatility of the local currency, which has fallen significantly in recent weeks.
At 9.30am the rand had weakened 0.5% to R14.0775/$, 0.76% to R15.8846/€ and 0.49% to R18.3736/£. The euro was 0.26% firmer at $1.1284.
Increasing focus is now expected on political party rhetoric ahead of the May 8 polls, with analysts warning that volatility in the rand may pick up.
There are no major local or global economic data releases on Friday, with markets watching for the opening of US markets, with a number of major financial institutions set to report results.