Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The rand was marginally weaker against major global currencies on Wednesday morning, taking its cue from the dollar, which has found some support from optimism over a US-China trade deal.

US President Donald Trump has been vocal in reassuring the markets that a US-China trade deal is in the offing, possibly as a result of the market’s recent negative reaction to signs the parties are far apart, said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam.

This was supporting the dollar a little, and the rand could test R14.30/$ on Wednesday, said TreasuryOne senior currency dealer Andre Botha. The rand remained at risk of further US-China related headlines, said Botha, although the recent national elections continues to provide some support to the local currency.

At 9.30am the rand was flat at R14.2574/$, having traded in a tight 5c range in intraday trade. The rand was 0.12% weaker at R15.9779/€ and 0.12% weaker at R18.4032/£. The euro was flat at $1.1207.

The bid on the benchmark R186 government bond had risen a marginal 0.5 basis points to 8.48%. Bond yields move inversely to bond prices.

International focus is squarely on the US-China trade war, with analysts expecting headlines to continue to determine market sentiment.

Locally, retail sales numbers for March are also being watched. The consensus is for retail sales growth to have slowed in March to an annualised 0.6%, from February’s 1.1%.