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Markets

South African rand weaker as dollar creeps higher

  • Stocks ended largely flat with the broader Johannesburg All-Share index down a marginal 0.02pc while the Top-40 index ticked just 0.04pc higher.
Published June 22, 2021
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JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand weakened on Tuesday, as the dollar crept higher before U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's testimony before Congress.

Investors will scrutinise Powell's remarks for clues about the outlook for U.S. monetary policy, after a surprise hawkish shift from the Fed last week sent the dollar soaring and emerging market assets tumbling.

At 1550 GMT, the rand traded at 14.3525 against the dollar, 1pc weaker than its previous close. It had gained more than 1pc on Monday after steep losses of more than 4pc last week.

Powell is due to appear before Congress from 1800 GMT. In prepared remarks he noted sustained labour market improvement and the recent increase in inflation.

Stocks ended largely flat with the broader Johannesburg All-Share index down a marginal 0.02pc while the Top-40 index ticked just 0.04pc higher.

"Given how markets remain highly sensitive to comments from Fed officials and inflation expectations, the next few days promise to be quite eventful for markets with numerous Fed speakers on the roster," Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM said.

Chemicals and fertiliser maker Omnia Holdings was among the gainers, closing 1pc firmer after it reinstated its dividend and posted a surge in annual earnings on Tuesday.

Mining stocks weakened 0.3pc as gold retreated on a firmer dollar.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 2030 instrument was flat at 9.065pc.

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