'Take advantage of rand weakness'

Johannesburg - South Africa had not improved exports even as the local currency weakened against the dollar, Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus said in an interview on Talk Radio 702 last night.

At 5pm the rand was bid at R10.5966, up 6.69c from the same time on Monday, as disappointing US data limited gains in the dollar. Earlier this month the rand reached a five-year low of R10.76 to the dollar.

Central bank govenor Gill Marcus. Photo: Mxolisi Madela. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Despite the rand’s muted reaction to the announcement last month that the US Federal Reserve would begin tapering its bond purchases this month, it could still be vulnerable in the coming months, analysts at Absa Capital wrote in a quarterly economic outlook published yesterday.

Marcus said the country’s challenge for this year was to be “the standout country that it can be”.

She added that the global outlook for the year was better than before.

She also hailed the confirmation of Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve, saying Yellen was “an excellent central banker”. – Bloomberg