Rand. Picture: REUTERS
Rand. Picture: REUTERS

The rand was slightly weaker against major global currencies on Thursday morning, having touched R15/$ overnight, when US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell played down the chances of further interest-rate cuts in the US.

Testifying before Congress, Powell struck a dovish tone, though he did warn that US unemployment was rising.

His testimony pointed to US rates being kept on hold while the economy is growing, said Peregrine Treasury Solutions corporate treasury manager Bianca Botes in a note.

Expectations of a 25-basis-point cut from the Fed in November have fallen to about 6.7%, from 25% a month ago, according to Bloomberg data.

The rand would benefit from lower interest rates in the US, as it supports the carry-trade, where investors borrow in low interest-rate environments to invest in higher yielding bonds, such as those of SA bonds.

At 8.34am the rand was 0.23% weaker at R14.9452/$, 0.14% down at R16.4333/€, while remaining flat at R19.1737/£. The euro was 0.1% weaker at $1.10996.

Trade-war jitters continue to sour sentiment as well, with reports suggesting there are disagreements between the US and China on a partial deal that could see the rollback of tariffs.

Locally, mining production figures for September are due at 11.30am.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za