. Picture: REUTERS, SIPHIWE SIBEKO
. Picture: REUTERS, SIPHIWE SIBEKO

The rand looked set for its second consecutive week of gains on Friday.

Markets are shifting focus to US labour data later in the day. The US nonfarm payrolls for November are expected to be released later on Friday. The data is considered an important indicator of the health of the US economy amid fears of a global economic slowdown.

“Any large deviation in the payrolls could see a sharp move in currencies. Mixed signals around the trade deal are keeping markets cautious as we have the US fairly positive and the Chinese less enthusiastic” said TreasuryOne currency dealer Andre Botha.

The rand and its emerging-market peers have found some comfort in positive news on the US-China trade war. China said on Friday that it would waive tariffs on some soybeans and pork from the US. The local currency is up 0.19% so far this week.

At 10.10am, the rand had firmed 0.2% to R14.6215/$ after closing at R14.65/$. It had strengthened 0.17% to R16.2419/€ and 0.25% to R19.2308/£. The euro was flat at $1.1107.The R2030 government bond was slightly weaker, with the yield rising one basis points to 9.22%. Bond yields move inversely to their prices.

Gold was down 0.17% to $1,473.205/oz while platinum was flat at $896.6. Brent crude was up 0.25% to $63.42 a barrel. Locally, foreign-exchange reserves rose to $54.89bn (about R802bn) in November from $54.53bn in the previous month.  

mjoo@businesslive.co.za