Rand again firms as markets await Turkish central bank move

The rand strengthened by 0.8% against the dollar on Thursday morning and has now firmed by almost 5% from its midweek low last Wednesday.  

The local currency opened the day at R14.95/$ and was changing hands at R14.84 to the greenback at 10.23. 

Last Wednesday it briefly fell to over R15.60/$ due to a combination of SA falling into a recession and a sharp dip in the value of fellow emerging market Turkey’s currency, the lira. 

Bianca Botes of Peregrine Treasury Solutions said in a morning note that the rand was benefiting from a softer dollar coupled with a “slowdown in the risk-off behaviour witnessed in recent months surrounding emerging markets”.

Botes said, while local mining production statistics would be released on Thursday, she does not expert these numbers to significantly affect the local currency, as markets have largely priced in poor stats following last week's recession announcement. 

Investors will also be carefully watching the monetary policy announcements of the Turkish central bank at around 14:00. 

Andre Botha, senior dealer at TreasuryONE said: "In plain English the bigger the [Turkish bank's] hike, the better it would be for emerging markets. Should the decision disappoint, we could see EMs undoing all of the good work that has been done in the past week. Usually, when there are two-way risks, the reaction to the final decision is greater than expected, and we could end the day in some volatile territory."  

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