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Rand stumbles as geopolitical tensions weigh

The rand continued to weaken early on Thursday as geopolitical tensions abroad and uncertainty over the US-China trade deal subdued demand for emerging market currencies.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The rand continued to weaken early on Thursday as geopolitical tensions abroad and uncertainty over the US-China trade deal subdued demand for emerging market currencies.

At 0640 GMT the rand was 0.22% weaker at R13.9650 per dollar compared to a close at R13.9350 overnight in New York.

Escalating tensions between India and Pakistan after each of the nuclear powers claimed that they shot down each other’s fighter jets, and comments from a top US official that it was too early to predict an outcome to China trade talks marred demand for risk assets.

Bonds were weaker, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 up 3 basis points at 8.69%.

In equities, miner Impala Platinum (Implats) swung to a first-half profit, boosted by increased output and a weaker rand, while retailer Massmart Holdings Ltd, said its full-year headline earnings fell by 31.7%.

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