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Markets

South Africa's rand steadies after hitting 11-month low

South Africa's rand rose in early trade on Thursday, steadying after a week-long losing run that saw it sink to a 11-mon

August 08, 2019

South Africa's rand rose in early trade on Thursday, steadying after a week-long losing run that saw it sink to a 11-month low in the previous session.

At 0726 GMT, the rand traded at 15.0125 versus the dollar, up 0.3pc, after hitting its lowest level since September 2018 on Wednesday and having posted seven straight sessions of losses.

Poor economic data, worries about the impact of state-owned energy firm Eskom and negative commentary from credit rating agencies have all contributed to recent rand weakness, exacerbating broader concerns about emerging markets and trade tensions between the United States and China.

On Thursday global sentiment was buoyed by surprisingly strong China trade data which helped emerging market currencies recover.

"The return of some stability in global markets, some good news domestically and policy direction from SA's leadership would go a long way to assisting the ZAR stage a recovery," ETM Analytics said in a note.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has staked his reputation on cleaning up deep-rooted corruption and reviving Africa's most developed economy, has struggled to do so.

Ramaphosa is set for a court ruling in a dispute with South Africa's anti-corruption watchdog over the disciplining of public enterprises minister and key ally Pravin Gordhan.

ETM Analytics said that a victory for Ramaphosa in that case might further boost the rand.

Government bonds rose, and the yield on the benchmark instrument due in 2026 fell 3 basis points to 8.345pc.

Copyright Reuters, 2019