Rand lifted by vaccine optimism
JOHANNESBURG - The South African currency firmed on the back of vaccine optimism as the health minister indicated that South Africa is set to received 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca jab over the next two months according to NKC Research.
In addition to the AstraZeneca shot from the Serum Institute of India, South Africa’s negotiations with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) – whose vaccine will be produced by local pharmaceutical firm Aspen – is in “an advanced stage.”
On the international front, there appeared to be more of a positive risk-on trade in response to President Trump’s acceptance of the reality of his election loss, although the risk-on mood tapered with the open of trading in London and Europe.
At the close of local trade, the rand quoted 1.0 percent stronger at R15.30/$, after trading in range of R15.21/$ - R15.49/$. The local unit traded slightly weaker during this morning’s Asian trading session. The expected range of the rand the dollar today is R15.20/$ - R15.70/$.
Foreign reserves tick higher in December
South Africa’s gross reserves increased by a modest $1.25 billion (R19.31 billion) to reach $55.0bn in December. Moreover, the international liquidity position improved by $800 million to $52.1 billion. In December, gross reserves and gold reserves in particular were supported by higher gold prices. Foreign exchange reserves rose on the back of forex swaps for liquidity management purposes, matured swaps for sterilisation purposes, and a weaker greenback.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE