Rand firms as market eyes China’s attempts to contain virus
The rand was on track for its third day of gains on Thursday morning while markets await more developments in the coronavirus outbreak.
The local currency had its best day in almost six weeks on Wednesday, ending the session up 1.77%. The rand has been the best performer among emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg over the past five days.
“The surprise rally in the rand makes it clear that markets are still mostly focused on international events, although this is likely to change as we head towards the national budget speech in February,” said treasury partner at Peregrine Treasury Solutions Bianca Botes.
At 10.34am, the rand had firmed 0.12% to R14.3117/$ after ending the previous session at R14.32. It had strengthened 0.16% to R15.8648/€ and 0.17% to R18.7909/£. The euro was flat at $1.1085.
The R2030 government bond was weaker with the yield rising two basis points to 9%. Bond yields move inversely to their prices.
Gold was down 0.21% to $1,555.46/oz and platinum 1.23% to $1,006.54. Brent lost 0.19% to $62.58 a barrel.
According to reports, China has put measures in place to avoid a rapid spread of the virus, including placing the city of Wuhan on lockdown. The city with a population of about 11-million is believed to be at the centre of the outbreak that caused panic in global markets earlier this week amid fears it may turn into a global pandemic.