The rand traded near four-month lows this week, doing little to save consumers from a price increase at the pump. Fuel prices are set to soar by more than 50c/l on Wednesday after the price of crude oil surged in April, data from the Central Energy Fund showed. The rand was also the second-worst-performing emerging-market currency this week, shedding about 2.3%. Despite the looming general elections, the currency's trajectory over the next two weeks is likely to be mostly influenced by external forces, analysts said. Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM, said global risk sentiment was a key risk. "Further weakness could be on the cards if oil prices remain at elevated levels, and risk aversion simultaneously punishes emerging-market currencies while boosting the dollar." Otunuga said that though the rand was trading marginally below R14.50 early on Friday, "a weekly close above this level may open the gates towards R14.60 in the upcoming trading week". The rand last traded wea...

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