Rand in for volatile week as SA awaits rates announcement, Moody's

The rand is in for a volatile week, according to Senior Dealer at TreasuryONE Andre Botha. 

Botha said this is mostly due to the two big events expected this week - the SA Reserve Bank's interest rate decision on Thursday and Moody's expected credit rating announcement on Friday.

By 10:16, the rand was changing hands at R14.48 to the greenback. 

Botha, in a morning note to clients, said the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee was expected to keep rates on hold and "probably echo the cautionary tale that the Fed had regarding growth and global conditions".

"Then the much spoken about Moody's rating decision ... we expect Moody's to keep their outlook unchanged despite the current bout of load shedding and EM worries in the market," he said.

Emerging market currencies were generally on the backfoot, he said.

"The EM joy that came with the US Fed's dovish stance last week, was relatively short-lived with the rand retreating back to the R14.50 level at the end of Friday's trading.

"The reason for this retreat was first, the fact that European data disappointed which caused concerns to be expressed regarding global growth and second the fact that the Turkish Lira lost over 5% of its value, as there was an unexpected drop in their central banks foreign reserves," he said. 

"This spilled over in other EM markets and we saw the rand on a slippery slope on Friday."

Botha said it was likely that the rand would be range-bound in the interim.

Bianca Botes, Corporate Treasury Manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions, said in a morning note that while power utility Eskom had suspended load shedding, global growth concerns, confirmed by weak EU and US data, were driving market participants to safe haven assets.

"Emerging market currencies are once again under pressure. Following the brief relief of last week when the rand gained almost 2% against the greenback, the local unit has given up all the ground it had gained," she said.

Botes said the rand was expected to trade at an intraday range of R14.45 to R14.58/$.

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