On the eve of the Reserve Bank’s crucial monetary policy outcome, the rand crashed through R17/$ to record lows and the country’s bonds reached lows from 18 years ago as the global sell-off in markets sparked by the coronavirus accelerated.

Normally such a bloodbath would lead to expectations that the central bank would raise interest rates to stem the panic and attract capital into local markets. This time investors are almost unanimous that it will instead act more aggressively than usual in cutting them in support of a flagging economy.

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