Rand. Picture: REUTERS
Rand. Picture: REUTERS

The rand was firmer on Wednesday morning ahead of the US Federal Reserve meeting minutes as investors await more clarity on US monetary policy.

The markets will be closely watching minutes from the US Fed’s most recent meeting amid the growing expectation that the Fed will loosen monetary policy. The markets have already partially priced in at least two cuts from the Fed in 2019 after it cut rates by 25 basis points in July. Focus will shift to Fed chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole economic symposium later in the week.

“The Fed minutes tonight could be interesting but they also feel outdated at this point, a lot has happened since the meeting. It’s Jackson Hole that really has everyone excited and should lay the groundwork for the final few months of the year for markets and interest rates,” Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam said.

At 9.50am, the rand had firmed 0.56% to R15.2804/$, 0.63% to R16.95/€ and 0.86% to R18.5395/£. The euro was flat at $1.1092. 

Gold was down 0.68% to $1,4897/oz and platinum 0.79% to $842.20. Brent crude oil was up 0.47% to $60.38 a barrel.

Stats SA is scheduled to publish consumer price inflation figures for July. The consensus is for inflation to have moderated to 4.3% year on year from 4.5% in June, according to a Bloomberg poll