Interest rates may very well rise in the US next month, possibly triggering a wave of reciprocal action from emerging-market central bankers, including South Africa's Reserve Bank, as currencies weaken. This would heighten inflationary temperatures. But with Donald Trump's surprise victory in the US presidential race this week, there are question marks over whether the Federal Reserve's gradual path of interest rate hikes will be sustained in the new year and beyond. Since the Fed set global markets on this course at the start of 2014, emerging-market currencies have been on a weakening path, with the rand depreciating 36% over that time against the US dollar. Any change in US monetary policy could in fact see a reprieve for battered emerging-market currencies. While he is a supporter of a strong dollar in principle, Trump has singled it out as a reason for the US's lack of competitiveness in global trade against countries such as China. During his campaign, he came out in support o...

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