JOHANNESBURG, Nov 19 (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand strengthened early on Friday, recovering some ground lost a day earlier when the currency was caught up in emerging market contagion linked to a big Turkish rate cut.
At 0658 GMT, the rand traded at 15.5800 against the dollar, more than 0.4% stronger than its previous close.
The rand lost more than 1% on Thursday, when investors dumped emerging market assets after Turkey’s central bank cut rates by another 100 basis points, under pressure from President Tayyip Erdogan.
A 25 basis point rate hike by South Africa’s central bank, also on Thursday, offered little support. Traders instead focused on the monetary policy committee’s apparent preference for gradual policy tightening, as opposed to the steeper rate hikes some in the markets had expected.
“The decision to move higher this round gives the South African Reserve Bank some breathing room, but much will depend on external conditions and how domestic inflation behaves over the coming months,” analysts at Oxford Economics Africa said in a research note.
Late on Friday, ratings agencies S&P Global and Moody’s are scheduled to review South Africa’s sovereign credit rating.
“Although the improvement in SA’s (South Africa’s) debt metrics could help generate improved reviews, this is already … largely priced into the market,” ETM Analytics said.
The yield on the government’s benchmark 2030 bond was 2.5 basis points higher at 9.48%, reflecting a slightly weaker price.
(Reporting by Alexander Winning Editing by Mark Potter)