Rand steady as markets wait for fresh catalysts
Global markets are recovering a little from losses sparked this week by a viral outbreak in Asia
The rand was rangebound against major global currencies on Wednesday morning as investors awaited news regarding the coronavirus outbreak, with most global markets staging a mild recovery.
The local currency had firmed marginally against the dollar, but has still weakened 0.51% to the greenback so far this week.
US officials confirmed overnight the first case of the new coronavirus on its territory. The Centers for Disease Control said the virus, which originated in China, had been diagnosed in a US resident who arrived in Seattle from China. The virus, which spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has infected hundreds of people and sparked fears of a more severe outbreak.
Markets are looking for fresh drivers, said Treasury One senior currency dealer Andre Botha in a note.
At 11.15am, the rand had strengthened 0.11% to R14.4811/$ and 0.14% to R16.0462/€ and 0.15% to R18.8881/£. The euro was little changed at $1.1081.
Locally, inflation data for December came in as expected. Stats SA said consumer inflation for 2019 averaged 4.1%, its lowest annual rate since 2005. This is on par with the SA Reserve Bank’s expectations and below the midpoint of the Reserve Bank’s 3%-6% target band.