Rand claws back losses
The rand sputtered along as the attention was turned offshore, awaiting cues on policy direction according to NKC Research.
The ECB left markets wanting as insight into potential policy normalisation disappointed, while the focus was also affixed on US initial jobless claims as a particularly thin data calendar this week. Initial jobless claims for regular state benefits fell 39,000 last week to 547,000, well below our forecast of 585,000 and consensus expectations for 610,000.
While the data may be noisy from time to time in the weeks ahead, claims appear to be on a clear downward path. The four-week moving average for claims fell 28,000 to 651,000. Claims for state extended benefits continue to decline, falling below 500,000.
The decline may not be all good news – many states may be ending these benefits for some individuals prematurely due to the way they are designed to trigger on and off. With the FOMC blackout period effective, markets will be turning to US soil next week to gauge whether a shift in the policy winds can be expected sooner than currently priced in.
At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.58 percent weaker at R14.30/$, after trading in the range of R14.21/$ - R14.32/$. The rand clawed back losses during this morning Asian trading session. The expected range of the rand against the dollar today is R14.15/$ - R14.45/$.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE