The rand benefitted from the slight weakening of the greenback going into Saturday, to hold at around R14.71 a dollar over the weekend. Photo: Reuters

DURBAN – The rand’s firming to R14.69 a dollar on Monday was near analysts’ forecasts, according to Investec chief economist Annabel Bishop.

“The US dollar has seen some weakness recently as risk aversion subsided, with perceived gains in the US trade deal since October aiding sentiment,” said Bishop.

The domestic currency ranged between R14.69 and R14.83 to the dollar on Monday.

At 5pm the rand was bid 6c weaker than the same time bid on Friday at R14.78 against the dollar. Against the pound, it was 15c weaker at R19.15 and bid at R16.37 versus the euro. 

Treasury Partner at Peregrine Treasury Solutions Bianca Botes said the rand benefitted from the slight weakening of the greenback going into Saturday, to hold at around R14.71 a dollar over the weekend. 

“As Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry progresses, Wednesday will see one of his closest allies, Gordon Sondland, US Ambassador to the EU, take the stand in testimony. Sondland finds himself in a tight position which could see him protecting himself rather than backing Trump,” said Botes. 

Nedbank CIB research analyst Reezwana Sumad said that the domestic traded resiliently despite local factors. The final session of the week saw the rand open the session trading around the R14.80 level. 

“The local unit again encountered support for much of the session, although the price action was skittish, reaching a best level on [Friday] of R14.67 and closing the week at 14.70,” said Sumad.

She said emerging markets were trading marginally firmer on indications from the US regarding a partial trade deal with China and as the People’s Bank of China had cut short-term borrowing costs in an effort to boost the economy. This was as the strike at SAA continues and the unions threaten to destabilise the entire sector. 

This week, we have the SA Reserve Bank Monetery Policy Committe decision on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, JSE stocks rose with the blue-chip Top40 index lifting 0.82 percent to 50 191.03 points while the broader all share index also increased 0.74 percent to 56 467.03 points.

The biggest earners were Netcare which gained 5.16 percent at R18.55 followed by Sappi with 3.53 percent at R37.88 then British American Tobacco   with 2.58 percent to R549.85. Prosus increased by 2.50 percent at R1 012. 49 while Hammerson lifted 2.48 percent to R55.41.

The biggest losers were Kap Industrial which shed 4.93 percent to R4.24 followed by Italtile dropping 3.41 percent to R13.03 while Discovery decreased by 2.25 percent to R128.68. Assore lost 2.23 percent at R220 and Telkom losing 2.06 percent to R54.73.

BUSINESS REPORT