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Markets

South Africa's rand firms on improved risk appetite

  • At 0630 GMT, the rand traded at 16.5125 versus the dollar, 0.23pc firmer than its close on Friday.
19 Oct 2020

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand started the week firmer on Monday as appetite for risk was supported by hopes of a US fiscal package and expectations of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year and data showing China's economy rebounding.

At 0630 GMT, the rand traded at 16.5125 versus the dollar, 0.23pc firmer than its close on Friday.

"The foreign exchange markets continue to trade at the mercy of headlines," Nedbank analysts said in a note. "This time, the global focus is on the ongoing stimulus package talks from the US and the second wave of COVID-19 infections, the measures being implemented and the possibility of a vaccine."

A rally in risk assets was buoyed by hopes of a coronavirus vaccine after drugmaker Pfizer Inc said on Friday it could have a coronavirus vaccine ready in the United States by the end of this year.

China's rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic stayed on course last quarter as gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.9pc, although the weaker-than-expected headline growth suggested risks persisted.

Government bonds were firmer in early deals, and the yield on the instrument due in 2030 fell 3.5 basis points to 9.31pc.