9 July 2019

South Africa: Rand Is Trading On a Knife's Edge So Expect the Unexpected


Predicting where the rand is likely to be in the future has always been a mugs game. But with local and international economic conditions on a knife's edge and Trump accusing Europe and China of currency manipulation, it's that much more difficult. A muddle-through global economic scenario would be the currency's best bet.

It has never been easy to predict where the rand is headed but now it feels an even riskier forecast to make. Last week the SA currency managed to break below R14 to the dollar briefly in the wake of the G20 meetings in Japan but soon found its way back up to a level it has tended to return to over the last year or so - around R14.20 to the dollar.

The currency has been caught between international and local changes in confidence and market sentiment, shifting in response to the developments that are tending to hold sway at the time. Last week it experienced the tailwinds of favourable global events, whereas in June it felt the pain of surprisingly poor local growth data, breaking above R15 to the dollar.

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