Rand 'surprisingly firm' as global coronavirus cases surge

Rand notes.
Rand notes.
Getty Images

The rand remains "surprisingly firm" despite concerns over the global surge of coronavirus cases and the release of data on Thursday showing a plunge in factory output, according to TreasuryONE Senior Dealer, Andre Botha.

The local currency opened trade at R16.83 on Friday and was changing hands at R16.91 at 14:04. 

Botha said in a morning note that the relative strength of the rand can be attributed, in part, to the surge in coronavirus cases in the US and globally which have led to the softening of the dollar. 

"The rand is a touch weaker but still surprisingly firm ... this morning as it remains the best EM performer. We could, however, see a move back to the 17 levels in the short term,” said Botha.

The rand plunged to a low of under R19/$ in early April when South Africa entered its first month of lockdown, but has gradually been gaining ground since then. 

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