Rand remains on losing streak in risk-off trade
Concern about Eskom weighs on the local currency, while strong US corporate earnings reports lift the dollar
The rand was weaker against major global currencies on Wednesday morning, amid safe-haven interest in the dollar.
The local currency remains under pressure after it emerged on Friday that Eskom had received a R5bn bailout from taxpayers, while emerging markets are under pressure due to tension between the US and Iran.
There is little to suggest an imminent pullback to R14.20/$ given the extent of data and event risk sweeping through the local market, said Rand Merchant Bank analyst Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana.
If geopolitical risks and Eskom are not enough to starve appetite for rand-denominated assets, the dollar is also enjoying support from better-than-expected US corporate earnings, which pushed the S&P 500 to its strongest close on record on Tuesday, she said.
At 9.55am the rand was 0.75% weaker at R14.3635/$, 0.63% down at R16.106/€ and 0.75% softer at R18.5732/£. The euro had lost 0.13% to $1.1213.
The bid on the benchmark R186 government 10-year bond was at 8.555% from 8.54%.
US corporate earnings remain the centre of attention, but there are some local data releases this week to give the market direction.
Earlier, the FNB/BER business confidence index showed that conditions remained gloomy in the first quarter. Business confidence fell to two index points from seven points in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Load-shedding weighed on confidence in the first quarter, said FNB chief economist Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya, adding that prolonged strikes, rising fuel prices and the announcement of tax increases also contributed to declining confidence,