Rand hits one-year low against the dollar as global growth concerns mount

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The rand has fallen to its lowest level against the dollar in more than a year, as emerging market currencies struggle amid fears of a global slowdown in growth. 

At 10:15 on Friday, the local currency was trading at R16.40 to the greenback, after opening at 16.27/$. The decline is bad news for motorists, who may be facing further petrol and diesel hikes. 

"The risk aversion in markets due to global growth concerns driven by the very hawkish Fed and other central bankers has seen a flight to the safety of the dollar," said André Cilliers, a currency strategist at TreasuryONE, in a note. 

The rand has weakened by around 10% against the dollar over the past three months.

"The rand [earlier] weakened to R16.47, a level last seen in October 2020, as the dollar firmed against majors, with problems at Eskom adding fuel to the fire. For now, emerging market currencies are not the flavour of the month, and all the doom and gloom around could spell more trouble for our local currency."

"We end the first half of 2022 on a very somber note," added Cilliers. "We are seeing global bonds and equity markets being in the red at the same time. This is very rare, and going back 30 years." 

"There is a lot of talk about recessions looming around the corner, and for now, the pain is certainly not over." 

Last month the World Bank warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its effects on commodity markets, supply chains, inflation, and financial conditions have "steepened the slowdown in global growth".

"One key risk to the outlook is the possibility of high global inflation accompanied by tepid growth, reminiscent of the stagflation of the 1970s," it said. 

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