South African rand rises against soft dollar, CEE FX eyed ahead of ECB decision

PUBLISHED: Thu, 16 Mar 2023 15:20:06 GMT
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March 16 (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand bounced on Thursday as the dollar eased and some calm was restored in markets after an emergency lifeline for embattled lender Credit Suisse by Swiss authorities, ahead of a key European Central Bank (ECB) meeting later in the day.

South Africa’s rand ZAR= firmed 0.7%, after falling 1.6% as a slump in the shares of Credit Suisse coming just days after the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the United States intensified fears of a global banking crisis.

But Credit Suisse said it would borrow up to $54 billion from the Swiss central bank to shore up liquidity, which helped bring back some confidence in global financial markets.

The broader emerging markets currencies index .MIEM00000CUS was flat, with Asian units trading mixed as market sentiment overall remained fragile.

“Expecting another nervous day in FX markets,” said Francesco Pesole, FX strategist at ING.

“The question now is whether investors will be happier that CS has access to liquidity or will continue to focus on the CS business model and the trend in capital levels.”

The Russian rouble RUBUTSTN=MCX fell towards its weakest mark against the dollar in almost 11 months, dragged down by sharply lower oil prices.

Wild swings in commodity prices have also affected developing world assets.

Emerging market stocks .MSCEIF dipped around 0.7%, as heavyweights Hong Kong .HSI and China .CSI300 failed to join the broader rally in markets.

All eyes were on the ECB meeting later in the day for the first big test of how policymakers will respond to growing fears about banks. The ECB is seen raising rates by another hefty 50 basis points.

Most central and eastern European currencies were mixed, with Hungary’s forint EURHUF= reversing early gains to trade slightly lower against the euro, while the Czech crown EURCZK= edged higher.

Polish central banker Ludwik Kotecki said conditions will not be right for cutting interest rates until the end of 2025. The zloty EURPLN= was flat.

The Ugandan shilling UGX= dipped slightly on the back of continuing elevated demand for hard currency from players in the interbank market, traders said.

Spreads on the JPMorgan EMBI Global Diversified index .JPMEGDR widened further to mark a fresh four-month high standing at 499 bps.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2023, see

For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2023, see

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets Read full story

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see CEE/

For TURKISH market report, see .IS

For RUSSIAN market report, see RU/RUB

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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