Rand slightly firmer as virus worry eases
Concern about the coronavirus outbreak upset risk assets this week, but the local currency is on track to snap a three-week losing streak against the dollar
The rand gained against major currencies on Friday morning, as investors digested the extent of the outbreak of coronavirus in Asia, with investor appetite improving a little after sentiment was knocked earlier in the week.
Global market declined this week amid the fear of the effect of the outbreak and its resulting damage on the world economy.
China’s National Health Commission said 25 people have died from the fast-spreading coronavirus, as the total number of confirmed cases in the country rose to more than 880.
On Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the outbreak of the coronavirus did not yet constitute a global public health emergency.
The rand has strengthened 0.47% for the week, but has lost 0.96% so far in January. Should it hold on to its gains, it will snap a three-week losing streak against the dollar.
At 10.55am the rand had strengthened 0.48% to R14.3202/$, 0.62% to R15.8161/€ and 0.45% to R18.8047/£. The euro was 0.13% weaker to $1.1045.
There is little on the local corporate or economic calendar, with focus instead on news out of Asia.