Rand strengthens amid slight rally in riskier assets

After falling to a record low against the dollar earlier in the week, the rand strengthened to below R18 against the greenback on Thursday. 

The local currency opened the day at 18.18/$ and firmed by just over 1% to trade at R17.85 after noon. By 18:00 it was hovering under the R18/$ mark at R17.91/$.

"The rally in riskier assets, including the rand, is attributed to renewed risk appetite, as markets are optimistic about the virus peaking in Europe and the US," said Bianca Botes, Executive Director at Peregrine Treasury Solutions in a note. 

Botes said focus was moving to "potential light at the end of the tunnel" and the assumption that once the virus peaks, the world may return to some version of normalcy.

The spot dollar index - its value relative to a basket of six foreign currencies - also weakened marginally on Thursday, which also contribute to relative rand strength. 

"The softer dollar is a result of this renewed optimism, as the dollar is used as a safe haven asset," said Botes. 

Compiled by Jan Cronje and Lameez Omarjee

ZAR/USD
17.00
(-0.09)
ZAR/GBP
21.24
(-0.12)
ZAR/EUR
19.14
(-0.13)
ZAR/AUD
11.81
(-0.13)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.20)
Gold
1774.74
(+0.03)
Silver
18.05
(+0.01)
Platinum
808.00
(+0.25)
Brent Crude
42.78
(-0.79)
Palladium
1914.01
(+0.62)
All Share
54521.90
(-0.17)
Top 40
50179.89
(-0.26)
Financial 15
10150.02
(-0.64)
Industrial 25
76554.73
(+0.52)
Resource 10
50138.02
(-1.24)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1591 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2083 votes
My finances have been devastated
35% - 3123 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2255 votes
Vote