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Markets

South African rand on course for losses of over 3% this week

  • The rand has also been hurt by a souring in risk sentiment worldwide over the spread of the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant
20 Aug 2021

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand dipped early on Friday, taking losses for the week to more than 3% against the dollar as expectations that the US Federal Reserve will start tapering its stimulus this year boosted the US currency at the expense of riskier assets.

The rand has also been hurt by a souring in risk sentiment worldwide over the spread of the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant.

At 0630 GMT, the rand traded at 15.2425 against the dollar, 0.1% weaker than its previous close.

South African rand gains before inflation, retail data

The US currency struck a fresh 9-1/2-month high against major peers, benefiting from its appeal as a "safe-haven" asset at times of market turbulence.

South Africa is still in the grip of a third wave of COVID-19 infections and has only fully vaccinated less than 8% of its 60 million population. To speed up its immunisation drive, it is opening up vaccinations to those aged 18 and over from Friday.

Government bonds were also weaker on Friday, as the yield on the 2030 bond edged up 2.5 basis points to 8.975%.

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