Rand on the mend, recovers almost 3% after Reserve Bank fallout

The rand has recovered by almost 3% since it plunged lower last week due to a public spat around the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank and renewed US-China tariff threats, reaching a high of R15.10 to the greenback.

The local currency's turnaround is as a result of several factors including the surprise uptick in manufacturing data on Tuesday, say analysts. 

The rand was trading at R14.62 to the greenback at 10:10 on Wednesday morning after opening at R14.82 on Tuesday and closing the day at R14.66.

Public arguments over the mandate of the Reserve Bank spooked the rand last week after ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said the central bank's role should be expanded. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and the ANC's head of economic transformation, Enoch Godongwana, responded by saying the party had made no such resolution at a lekgotla last weekend. President Cyril Ramaphosa later said the bank's mandate had not changed, describing the debate as "not helpful".

"The rand is finally starting to play catch-up with other emerging markets as the likelihood of a rate cut by the Fed continues to render support. A surprise uptick in manufacturing data and a cool-off in trade wars assisted the rand’s performance on Tuesday," said Peregrine Treasury Solutions's Bianca Botes in a note to clients on Wednesday morning. 

Botes said she expected the rand's rebound to continue, saying it could target R14.50 should global conditions remain intact.

"The next resistance level on the way there is expected at R14.62."

TreasuryONE also echoed these sentiments in a note, highlighting that the rand was supported by the weaker dollar as well as the good economic data yesterday in terms of SA's manufacturing production.

"Local manufacturing production grew at 4.6% year on year against an expected 1.35% market consensus. This is the largest expansion in two years and gives hope that the poor Q1 GDP number out last week was an anomaly due to load shedding," said TreasuryONE.

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