Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The rand was on the front foot on Tuesday morning as emerging-market currencies recovered from global risk-off sentiment that was prompted by escalating tension in the Middle East.

The killing of a top Iranian commander during a US air strike last week had rattled markets, with the rand falling almost 2%.

The ongoing feud has raised concern about the effect it could have on oil supply and the global economy, as the Middle East is responsible for almost half of the world's oil production.

US defence secretary Mark Esper said on Monday that the US  had no plans to remove its troops from Iraq. That followed a call by the Iraqi parliament for foreign troops to leave the country.

“Concerns around US/Iran relations subsided somewhat as investors cast their eye to improving trade and fairly better economic data. The rand recouped some of Fridays losses with local bonds following a similar pattern and the curve flattening albeit in thinned out trade,” Sasfin fixed income trader Alvin Chawasema said.

At 10.18am, the rand had firmed 0.27% to R14.1702/$ strengthening to R14.1401/$ in intraday trade. It had firmed 0.45% to R15.837/€ and 0.34% to R18.6458/£. The euro had weakened 0.19% to $1.1176. 

Gold was up 0.17% to $1,568/oz and 0.71% to $969.76. Brent crude was flat at $68.38 a barrel.