Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The rand was slightly weaker against major global currencies on Monday afternoon, amid caution on global markets.

The greenback is under a little pressure over market scepticism that a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will result in a solution to the trade war between the two countries.

Focus is also on the Middle East, with the US indicating that it is gearing up to impose additional sanctions upon Iran in response to that country shooting down a US drone last week.

Much now hinges on the outcome of the meeting between Xi and Trump this week, FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga said, and it is far from certain that there will be any resolution to the conflict in 2019.

Markets may also be getting slightly ahead of themselves in terms of expectations of stimulus from major central banks, and risks for the rand are to the downside, Otunuga said.

At 2pm the rand had weakened 0.11% to R14.3397/$, 0.29% to R16.337/€ and 0.39% to R18.2844/£. The euro had firmed 0.19% to $1.1393.

Trade is expected to be cautious for the rest of the week, with the Trump-Xi meeting likely to take place at the weekend. Some focus is on the state of the nation debate in Parliament on Tuesday, with President Cyril Ramaphosa set to respond to the debate on Wednesday.