Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The rand was a little firmer against major global currencies on Wednesday morning, ahead of local retail sales, and recovering a little after US President Donald Trump disappointed the market with trade war comments.

Trump hit out at EU tariffs on Tuesday evening, labelling them “in many ways worse than China’s”, as markets wait to see whether the US will slap a tariff on EU cars.

Trump also failed to clarify if the US was intending to roll back tariffs on China, with the hope that the two sides are closing in on a partial deal, which lifted risk assets in the early part of last week.

Trump has also taken aim at the US Federal Reserve for what he says are high interest rates and, as unrest continues in Hong Kong, the world seems poised for an unhappy start to the festive season, said Standard Bank currency trader Warrick Butler in a note.

At 10.10am the rand was 0.14% firmer at R14.928/$, 0.2% up at R16.4243/€ and 0.16% stronger at R19.171/£. The euro was flat at $1.1003.

Local focus is on retail sales numbers for September, with the expectation that they have picked up slightly to 1.9% year on year.

Eskom said on Wednesday load-shedding is not expected, but the system remains vulnerable.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za