Picture: 123RF/LEON SWART
Picture: 123RF/LEON SWART

The rand was weaker on Monday morning, as the coronavirus dominated headlines, while local focus is on Thursday’s state of the nation address (Sona) as well as local economic releases.

The local currency has broken through the psychologically important R15/$ level, though analysts noted it was finding a resistance level, and had come off the low of R15.12/$ reached on Friday.

“We start the week in the same terrain as Friday, with little to no change in the global landscape,” said Peregrine Treasury Solutions treasury partner Bianca Botes.

“The core focus for the week will be China, and whether the country will slowly return to normal, while locally we start to gear up for Thursday’s Sona”, said Botes.

At 11.14am, the rand was little changed at R15.0264/$ and R16.4590/€, while it had weakened 0.12% to R19.3891/£. The euro was little changed at $1.095.

Investors are watching Sona on Thursday with an expectation that President Cyril Ramaphosa may provide a way forward with struggling state-owned power utility Eskom or announce economic growth-boosting efforts.

Local manufacturing data is due on Tuesday, retail sales on Wednesday and mining data on Thursday.