Johannesburg - The rand strengthened the most in almost a month, leading global gains against the dollar, after senior members of the ruling party called for President Jacob Zuma to step down and the country avoided a downgrade from two ratings companies.
The rand climbed as much as 2.8% and was 3% stronger at 13.73/$ by 12:00 on Monday, heading for the biggest gain since October 31. The rand gained the most among 31 major and emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Benchmark government rand bonds due December 2026 rose, driving the yield down by 21 basis points to 8.88 percent, the biggest decline in five months.
Update: By 07:30 on Tuesday, the rand had depreciated to R13.80/$.
A move to oust Zuma, whose administration has been plagued by allegations of corruption and mismanagement, had significant support in the African National Congress’s National Executive Committee (NEC), said a senior ANC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. South Africa escaped a debt downgrade by Fitch and Moody’s Investors Service on November 25, also boosting the currency. Emerging-market assets gained on Monday as the dollar declined.