Rand weakens as focus shifts to US-China deal

A  five rand coin in  a  file  photo.

The rand started the week on the back foot on Monday as investors shift their attention to the signing of the phase-one trade deal this week.  

The local currency, which is down more than 2% so far in January, has been battered by rising tension in the Middle East as well as rolling blackouts by Eskom.

“The potential for further minor weakness to the resistance area of R14.45/R14.50 is certainly possible and maybe dependant on more Eskom/load-shedding headlines,” Standard Bank currency dealer Warrick Butler said.

The much anticipated signing of the partial trade agreement between the US and China on Wednesday is expected to drive global market sentiment. The 20-month long spat has weighed on emerging-market currencies amid fears about the effect it has had on global economic growth.

At 11.13am, the rand weakened 0.22% to R14.3694$ after ending the previous week at R14.33/$. It had weakened 0.28% to  R15.986/€ while it had firmed 0.18% to R18.6652/£. The euro was flat at $1.1.1125.

The R2030 government bond was weaker with the yield rising 3.5 basis points to 9.055%. Bond yields move inversely to their prices.

Gold was down 0.95% to $1,547.14/oz and platinum 0.89% to $967.3. Brent crude added 0.18% to $65.14 a barrel.

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