Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The rand was firmer on Tuesday morning as markets await the next step in the US-China trade war.

Reports that China wants to hold another round of talks before signing an interim trade agreement with the US watered down hope of a trade truce. The US said on Monday that it would impose a tariff hike scheduled for December should the two economic superpowers not reach a trade deal. This follows reports that China wants the US to scrap the December tariff hike.

“The latest twist in the US-China trade conflict is yet another reminder to investors not to get caught up in the hype,” FXTM market analyst Han Tan said.

“Trying to bridge the conflicting interests between the world’s two largest economies is a gargantuan task; an undertaking that has already proven to be protracted and complicated,” Tan said.

The conflicting reports weighed on market sentiment, with the rand earlier weakening to R14.83/$ in intraday trade on Tuesday before paring losses by 10am. It had firmed 0.24% to R14.7966/$, the second best among emerging-market currencies.

The rand also strengthened 0.3% to R16.3056/€ while it was little changed at R18.7073/£. The euro was flat at $1.102.

Gold was little changed at $1,492.91/oz while platinum was down 0.2% to $891.55. Brent crude lost 0.29% to $59.02 a barrel.