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

The rand was slightly softer against major global currencies on Wednesday morning, as global markets took a breather after recent gains.

Equities and emerging market assets have been boosted by signs of loose monetary policy in the US, with markets pricing in interest rate cuts amid signs economic momentum in the world’s largest economy is slowing.

Markets may be overly optimistic regarding interest rate cuts from the Fed, said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam, and much will hinge on the outcome of the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping later in June.

“It seems we’re dealing with a very emotional investor at the moment, the way we’re so suddenly swinging between such optimism and pessimism on the basis of such minor actions,” Erlam said.

At 9am the rand was flat at R14.6793/$, while weakening 0.16% to R16.6403/€ and 0.12% to R18.6848/€. The euro was flat at $1.13336.

Focus on Wednesday is on economic data, with local retail sales numbers for April due at 1pm. The consensus, according to macroeconomics website Trading Economics is for 1.2% year-on-year growth. Manufacturing data on Tuesday for the same month was a pleasant surprise.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za