Rand breaks below R14/$ overnight after Fed chair hints at rate cut

The rand strengthened to under R14/$ overnight after Fed Chairperson Jerome Powell hinted the bank may be preparing to cut interest rates.

"[Powell] surprised markets with an unexpectedly dovish address to congress [on Wednesday], following the solid employment data from the economy," said Bianca Botes of Peregrine Treasury Solutions in a morning note to clients. 

"The testimony quickly saw the rand strengthening by close to 0.8% in the afternoon, with the rally continuing in the overnight session to break below R14.00/$."

The local currency was trading at R13.95 at 08:15 on Thursday morning, its strongest level since late April 2019. 

"The rand is likely to lean towards more strength with the R13.80/$ level now becoming a realistic target."

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