JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s rand steadied in early trade on Monday, struggling for momentum as the appetite for risk waned as Washington and Beijing put additional tariffs on each other’s exports, adding to the gloom hanging over the global economy.
At 0620 GMT, the rand traded at 15.1950 per dollar, not far off its close of 15.1850 on Friday.
“A slight weakening of the rand was seen during the early hours this morning from Friday’s close, with the local unit still squarely in the broader range witnessed in the past week,” said Bianca Botes, a treasury partner at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.
“The flurry of tariffs imposed by the U.S. on China and vice versa over the weekend is due to add some pressure on the currency.”
The United States slapped 15% tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods on Sunday – including footwear, smart watches and flat-panel televisions – while China imposed new duties on U.S. crude oil.
U.S. President Donald Trump said the two sides would still meet for talks later this month, but hopes for a resolution to the trade war have diminished.