S.Africa's rand flat, seen trading sideways rest of the week

by Reuters 0

South Africa’s rand was mostly flat against the dollar on Thursday, with traders and analysts expecting it to drift sideways after the Federal Reserve’s latest policy statement left the outlook for U.S. rates uncertain.

Stocks opened slightly firmer, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 index up 0.5 percent from Tuesday’s close. Markets were closed on Wednesday for a public holiday.

At 0703 GMT the rand traded at 14.4300 to the greenback, just 0.03 percent off where it ended New York trade on Wednesday.

Traders and analysts said the currency would struggle to find direction amid uncertainty for the global economy.

“The rand has in fact traded in pretty much no-man’s land this week. It has been unable to break below 14.15 and as yet struggled to get above 14.60 either,” Standard Bank trader Warrick Butler said in a note.

“In between is just a technical minefield of illiquidity and noise. Flows from the international sector have been quiet with fast money accounts happy to watch from the side-line’s and real money investors quiet on both the bond and equity side of things.”

Trade on the debt market got off to a slow start, with the yield on the 2026 benchmark dipping just 1 basis points to 9.105 percent.