Rand crashes through R15/$ as Trump lashes out, and China says it won’t play ‘Game of Thrones’

On Wednesday, the rand traded on the wrong side of R15/$ for the first time in three weeks amid growing concern about conflict between the US and China.

At the United Nations on Tuesday, US president Donald Trump accused China of “massive” market barriers, currency manipulation and intellectual property theft.

“Hopefully we can reach an agreement that will be beneficial for both countries,” Trump said. “As I have made very clear, I will not accept a bad deal.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese news service Xinhua reports that the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi hit back.

“China has no intention to play a 'Game of Thrones', or in other words, seek hegemony on the world stage,” Wang said, according to the Xinhua report.

He added that some in the US was hyping a so-called "shift of international power" towards China. “Such a claim is a strategic misjudgement about China and reflects a lack of self-confidence.”

In a world confronted with more and more challenges, no country can do well in isolation or fix all the problems single-handedly, Wang said, Xinhua reported.

The markets now hold little hope of a trade agreement when the US and China meet next week.

Investors are also worried about political turmoil in the US as the Democratic Party established an impeachment inquiry into allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political opponent, presidential candidate Joe Biden.

As investors grew wary about the risks in the market, they moved away from emerging markets, which left the rand and other currencies exposed.

By lunchtime on Wednesday, the rand was trading at R15.01/$, more than a percent weaker than on Friday. It was also worth R18.63/pound and R16.50/euro.

ZAR/USD
17.02
(-0.24)
ZAR/GBP
21.90
(+0.05)
ZAR/EUR
19.89
(-0.05)
ZAR/AUD
12.07
(+0.09)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.04)
Gold
1883.00
(+0.03)
Silver
23.61
(-0.54)
Platinum
877.00
(-0.28)
Brent Crude
42.88
(+1.08)
Palladium
2258.66
(+0.77)
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54718.80
(+2.11)
Top 40
50578.66
(+2.08)
Financial 15
9932.20
(+5.65)
Industrial 25
73991.07
(+1.43)
Resource 10
54366.26
(+1.71)
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