Resilient rand trades firmly under R12/$ on upbeat local data

Cape Town - The rand continued to trade under the R12/$ level on early trade on Thursday, following healthy local retail sales data, better than expected local inflation data and broad emerging market strength. 

Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions said the market was still digesting comments by President Cyril Ramaphosa about South Africa's economy and policies during his charm offensive in London. 

At 11:08 on Thursday, the rand was trading 0.21% firmer at R11.95 to the greenback after flirting with the R11.90/$-level earlier in the session.

Andre Botha, a currency dealer at TreasuryONE, said in addition to firming on the good inflation data the rand benefitted from relative emerging market strength. 

"Some new impetus seemed to have entered the market since [Wednesday] when we saw emerging market currencies in general closing stronger against the US dollar. This could be attributed to the overall risk sentiment in the market getting more 'risk-on' due to geopolitical tensions easing between the US and Syria," he said. 

"We can expect the rand to push a little stronger but the rand is still stuck in narrow ranges, and only a definite break of R11.88 opens up the possibility of extending the run."

NKC African Economics said on Thursday morning it expects the local currency to trade in a range between R11.80/$ - R12.00/$.

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