The rand was on the front foot on Tuesday morning, leading its emerging-market peers while investors digested the appointment of a new CEO for Eskom.

Nampak CEO Andre de Ruyter has been appointed the new head of the cash-strapped power utility as of January 15. Ruyter will succeed Phakamani Hadebe who stepped down earlier in 2019, as the state-owned entity battles financial and operational woes.  

“He is going to have his work cut out for him no doubt,” said Standard Bank currency dealer Warrick Butler. “All I can say is good luck to him, it will be no mean feat to raise the titanic.”

At 11.10am, the rand firmed 0.39% to R14.754/$ after closing at R14.8124/$ on Monday. It had strengthened 0.44% to R16.3293/€, 0.43% to R19.1062/£. The euro was flat at $1.1067. 

Gold was down 0.17% to $1,468.31/oz while platinum added 0.21% to $896.63. Brent crude was up 0.27% to $62.42 a barrel. 

The R2030 government bond was weaker, with the yield rising 2.5 basis points to 9.14%. Bond yields move inversely to prices. 

On the global front, markets remain in wait-and-see mode regarding the US-China trade war amid growing concern that the dispute may drag on.