Peaceful elections help rand remain firm

As the votes are counted, the rand is holding onto gains against the dollar, pound and the euro.

Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Economists say a peaceful municipal election, along with a much calmer political climate in general, is helping the rand maintain its strength.

At around 12pm, the local currency was at R13.77 against the dollar and R18.30 to the Pound.

But the rand's fate largely remains in the hands of global economic developments.

As the votes are counted, the rand is holding on to gains against the dollar, pound and euro.

Investment Solutions' Lesiba Mothatha says markets have taken comfort in the smooth running of the municipal elections.

"I think markets take comfort when there's certainty and there's less violence."

Nedbank's Nicky Weimar says apart from the peaceful election the rand has benefited from investors looking for higher returns as developed economies look to cut interest rates to support their economies.

"So the Brexit has been an issue and also more recently US growth has been disappointing although the reasons for it has been isolated and very specific and the sense that perhaps the US will be very slow to act on interest rates."

The rand's strength comes at a time when the economy is expected to slow to zero percent this year.