Picture: REUTERS, SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Picture: REUTERS, SIPHIWE SIBEKO

The rand was firmer against major currencies on Monday afternoon, finding some support from global catalysts, after the US and Mexico averted a 5% tariff on Mexican imports, and as expectations rose that the US Federal Reserve might cut interest rates.

The rand recovered further on Monday, after passing R15/$ last week, following the ANC’s conflicting statements on the mandate of the Reserve Bank, as well as poor economic data. 

By 2.55pm, the rand had strengthened 0.45% to R14.8298/$, 0.55% to R16.7731/€ and 0.93% to R18.7994. It firmed the most against the pound after data showed the UK’s GDP contracted 0.4% in April from 0.1% in March. The euro was down 0.1% to $1,1310/$.

The benchmark R186 government bond was firmer, with its yield falling 1.5 basis points to 8.45%. Bond yields move inversely to bond prices.

Gold had fallen 0.79%to $1,329.75/oz, after it rallied last week, driven by hopes that the US may soon cut interest rates. Platinum was down 0.53% to $805.21. Brent crude was little changed at $63.19 a barrel. 

Domestic factors will continue to pose a risk to the rand as more economic data will be released this week, including mining and manufacturing production, as well as retail sales.

“While the currency has the potential to recover further amid the risk-on mood, there are multiple headwinds that are likely to limit any meaningful upside gains in the medium term,” FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga said.

mjoo@businesslive.co.za