Rand firms on optimism over relaxing coronavirus restrictions

At 0645 GMT the rand was 0.22% firmer at 18.4070 per dollar, having opened at 18.4300.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand firmed in early trading on Wednesday, as investors stayed optimistic about chances for easing lockdown restrictions in some countries despite worrying increases in new coronavirus cases.

At 0645 GMT the rand was 0.22% firmer at 18.4070 per dollar, having opened at 18.4300. Investor concerns about new virus infections in China, Germany and South Korea have dampened some of the hopes for a quick rebound in the global economy as countries look to restart activity and avoid prolonged recession.

Bonds opened weaker, reflecting the sour risk mood, with the yield on the benchmark 2030 government issue up 9 basis points to 9.41%.