The rand was near its best level against the dollar in about a month on Monday morning, recovering its losses from Friday on news SA’s lockdown restrictions will ease from June 1.

This will enable up to 8-million people to return to work, and comes as a relief to many who have been severely hit by the lockdown, said Peregrine Treasury Solutions executive director Bianca Botes in a note.

In morning trade the rand was up 0.33% to R17.57 a dollar.

The rand is still off its best level of R17.50 a dollar reached Thursday last week, having lost ground on Friday due to news that Beijing aims to tighten its grip on Hong Kong.

Asian markets were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei up 1.44% while the Hang Seng was down 1%. Tencent, which influences the JSE via Naspers, had given back 0.53%.

Gold was down 0.44% at $1,726.40 an ounce while platinum had lost 0.61% to $825.65. Brent crude was flat at $32.25 a barrel.

US markets are closed on Monday for the Memorial Day public holiday.

Hospital group Netcare is due to release its first half results to end-March later and will report on costs related to its black empowerment scheme.

Tiger Brands is also due to release its half-year results later and is expected to report hefty writedowns amid weak economic conditions in some of its export markets.