File picture: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

Johannesburg - Twitter is abuzz with news that the rand has recovered substantially.

Just after lunch, the rand was trading at R12.95 to the dollar.

This is below the psychological barrier of R13, and well off its recent lows.

After President Jacob Zuma recalled then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan from an international roadshow, which was followed by his axing during a Cabinet reshuffle at the end of March and SA being downgraded to junk by S&P and then Fitch, the rand lost about 10 percent.

However, some commentators note that the rand itself is not strong.

Rather, they say, political instability in the US is leading to that currency declining, which is bolstering the local equivalent.

Gordhan was replaced by former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, who is set to attend a roadshow with international investors and rating agencies.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that emerging assets shifted up a gear on Monday as markets cheered the French election results, pushing developing stocks to a near-three week high and sending most emerging currencies surging against the dollar and euro.

Sunday's election saw centrist and market favourite Emmanuel Macron take a big stride towards the French presidency, winning the first round and lining up a showdown against far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a May 7 run-off vote, the wire service reports.

Victory for the pro-European Union ex-banker in the opening round soothed nerves over the future of the bloc and its single currency, and whetted investors' appetite for riskier assets, it says.