Rand is flat as market eyes US economic data
The rand is on track for its worst week against the dollar since February, but markets are somewhat subdued ahead of US GDP numbers
The rand was little changed against major global currencies on Friday morning, as investors waited for US economic data that should give some indication as to whether global growth concerns are justified.
The rand has lost almost 2.5% against the dollar so far this week, with the US currency bolstered by upbeat corporate data as well as investor interest in safe-haven assets.
Emerging-market currencies recovered a little overnight, but the rand should be range-bound ahead of US GDP data, said TreasuryOne senior currency dealer Andre Botha. First-quarter US GDP numbers are due at 2.30pm SA time.
At 10am the rand was 0.18% firmer at R14.3995/$, but flat at R16.0418/€ and down 0.1% at R18.5829/£. The euro was flat at $1.1141.
The bid on the benchmark R186 government bond was at 8.59% from 8.58%.
Concerns over global growth have vied with upbeat US corporate data this week, with local factors in the back seat.
A rising oil price, however, threatens to deliver yet another fuel price hike for SA's embattled consumers. Data from the Central Energy Fund indicates an increase of about 52c/l is on the way in May.