Rand stable ahead of ANC birthday celebrations

Cape Town – The rand started the week on a steady note, opening at R12.33 to the dollar on Monday, slightly up from its previous close of R12.31/$ on Friday. 

By 12:00 the rand was trading at R12.37 to the greenback.

Analysts expect the rand to hold firm within the R12.25/$ to R12.50/$ range ahead of ANC birthday celebrations.

Newly elected president Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the party's annual 'January 8 Statement' at the ABSA Stadium in East London on Saturday, on behalf of the ANC's new national executive committee (NEC). 

“There’s nothing meaningful to note on the data front today but the annual ANC birthday celebrations should garner attention as the new NEC will have a chance to stamp their authority on ANC policy,” said TreasuryOne dealer Phillip Pearce in a statement on Monday.

“Sentiment should still drive markets today, with the dollar likely to rebound after a softer end to last week.”

Last week the local currency strengthened to a high of R12.24/$ on rumours that President Jacob Zuma may have been given a deadline to step down.

“Rumours are rife that the majority of the ANC wants him to step down, but 'Number One' seems to be defiant as his grip on power weakens,” Pearce noted.

The NEC, the party's top decision making body, is expected to meet on Wednesday when, among other matters, the Constitutional Court ruling of December 29 will be discussed, the ANC previously said in a statement.

The country's highest court has ruled that the National Assembly has to make rules to hold the president to account.  

Adam Phillips, a treasury specialist at Umkhulu Consulting, said despite calls for Zuma to go, much of the attention will rest on Ramaphosa’s speech over the weekend.

“The current range of R12.28/$ to R12.48/$ still applies until the new ANC leader speaks,” he said. 


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