South Africa’s rand firms, focus on Fed meeting

PUBLISHED: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 09:12:23 GMT

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand firmed in early trade on Tuesday, as lack of local drivers turned attention to a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that was expected to reiterate a dovish policy stance.

At 0625 GMT, the rand traded at 16.4275 per dollar, 0.17% firmer than its close on Monday.

The United States central bank, the Federal Reserve, meets on Tuesday and Wednesday. It could confirm recent hints about the benefits of an average inflation target, which would allow rates to stay lower for longer and benefit high-yielding assets.

“With no data scheduled to drive currency markets today, we can expect them to continue their current momentum, with the rand setting its sights on breaking through the R16.35/$ mark,” said Bianca Botes, executive director at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.

Analysts expected investor focus to be on offshore events, despite some key local data releases this week including consumer inflation and trade figures.

The International Monetary Fund said on Monday its executive board approved $4.3 billion in emergency financing for South Africa to help address the “severe economic impact” and health challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This …should really be currency neutral as they will in all likelihood provide the funding through a cross-currency swap,” Standard Bank chief trader Warrick Butler said in a note.

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