Rand marginally weaker after poor job stats

The rand lost some of its gains against the dollar in the early afternoon on Tuesday, after Stats SA announced that SA’s unemployment rate had increased

The local currency opened at 13.15/$ and reached an intra-day high of R13.08/$, before starting to weaken. 

At 14:55 it was trading at R13.12/$, up 0.26%. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Stats SA reported that SA’s unemployment rate had increased to 27.2% in the second quarter.

On Tuesday morning - before the employment statistics were released - Bianca Botes of Peregrine Treasury Solutions said recent investment commitments by China and Saudi Arabia had given the currency “the resolve to attempt a retracement to stronger levels”.

She expected markets would be closely watching the employments data to get a feel for what the second half of the year has on store for SA's economy. 

Ahead of the Brics summit in Johannesburg last week, China committed to invest $14.7bn in SA. Earlier in July President Cyril Ramaphosa secured separate $10bn investment commitments from both Saudi Arabaia and the UAE.

Ahead of the release of the jobs figures, NKC African Research noted that the rand’s strength on Monday – when it gained 0.4% against the US dollar, was surprising, as it strengthened despite an IMF warning that "potential bailouts to South African state-owned enterprise are a major risk".

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