Rand firmer in wake of bleak budget

At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at R14.0350 per dollar, 0.25% firmer than its overnight close.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand firmed slightly against the dollar in early trade on Tuesday, but remained above the R14.00 mark breached last week following a bleak budget that rattled financial markets.

At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at R14.0350 per dollar, 0.25% firmer than its overnight close.

The currency fell to 14.3575/dollar last week, its weakest since November 2016, after Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba announced a fiscal deficit forecast of 4.3% of GDP and slashed the growth estimate to 0.7% for 2017.

“In a data and event heavy week, the rand has thus far failed to breach the R14.0000 level in its recent recovery,” Nedbank analysts said in a note. “Markets likely to remain cautious ahead of global events and the local political and economic landscape remains uncertain.”

Focus in the session is on third-quarter unemployment figures and September trade data due out later in the day.

Stocks were set to open flat at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index barely changed.