Rand weakens as investors shy away from risk
JOHANNESBURG - The rand rand weakened on Tuesday, as doubts over the speed and size of US stimulus and rising coronavirus cases globally sapped investor appetite for riskier currencies.
At 0610 GMT, the rand traded at 15.3400 versus the US dollar, 0.59 percent weaker than its previous close.
Optimism over the US fiscal stimulus, which spurred risk-taking in recent weeks that has benefited the rand, was dented following concerns over the timing and scope of the plans.
Officials in US President Joe Biden's administration are trying to head off Republican concerns that his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal is too expensive.
Signs of slow progress in rolling out Covid-19 vaccines locally as well as in Europe has also dampened sentiment.
"Markets are back in jittery terrain as uncertainty around the US stimulus package as well as vaccines lingers on," said Bianca Botes, executive director at Peregrine Treasury Solutions in Pretoria.
Government bonds also weakened in early deals, and the yield on the instrument due in 2030 rose 3.5 basis points to 8.825 percent.