File Photo: IOL
The rand steadied against the dollar yesterday, struggling for momentum as investors awaited clues on US monetary policy from the Federal Reserve officials and domestic data.

At 5pm, the rand bid at R14.1737 to the dollar, 2cents softer than at the same time on Monday.

Trading was largely muted ahead of US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony to the Congress and release of minutes today from the US central bank’s last policy meeting.

“Jerome Powell’s biannual testimonies, FOMC meeting minutes, US-China trade developments and global sentiment will certainly dictate where the rand concludes this week,” Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, said in a note.

“On Thursday, there will be a strong focus on South Africa’s manufacturing production figures which will provide further insight into the health of Africa’s most industrialised economy. Anything below market forecast will most likely be negative for the rand.”

Emerging markets have enjoyed capital inflows this year on signs major central banks will embrace a looser monetary policy as a result of trade disputes and growth concerns.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 2026 government issue fell 1.5 basis points to 8.105 percent.

On the bourse, the blue chip JSE Top40 index retreated 1.43 percent at 50908.51 points while the broader all share was down 1.33 percent at 56963.8 points.