File Photo: INL
File Photo: INL

Weak rand could be great for manufactured exports

By Sizwe Dlamini Time of article published Aug 7, 2018

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CAPE TOWN - The rand opened about 0.5 percent weaker on Tuesday, trading near the R13.40 mark before strengthening to R13.28 during intraday trade.

However, it is not all doom and gloom as analysts reckon the domestic currency’s weaker level could impact positively on manufactured exports, despite the dim outlook for the manufacturing sector, which rose only 0.7 percent year on year in June.

Corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions, Bianca Botes, said overall the emerging market picture was gloomy, while South Africa’s outlook is further smeared with local elements such as failing state-owned entities, renewed policy uncertainty as well as sluggish economic growth.

“Turkey’s attempt to assist its currency failed as the diplomatic spat between the emerging market and the US overshadows any attempt by the local government to provide some financial stability, while China and the US have a harsh exchange of words as both countries forge ahead in the trade war,” said Botes.

At 5pm the domestic currency was bid 9c firmer than Tuesday’s same time bid at R13.31 a dollar. Against the pound, the rand was 10c stronger at R17.25 and to the euro, the currency strengthened 6c to R15.43.

TreasuryONE senior currency dealer Andre Botha said for emerging markets the fact that the Turkish Lira sank to its weakest level against the US dollar did not do much in the way of positive sentiment for other emerging markets. 

“Although the Turkish situation is more country specific, with the US threatening sanctions on Turkey, the fact that Turkey is lumped into the emerging markets basket opens up contagion risk to other emerging markets and South Africa caught a whiff of that risk yesterday. 

“With limited data out this week, we expect the rand to trade within bands should things on the political side stay calm, but should the issue of land expropriation enter the fray again after the cabinet lekgotla we could see some knee-jerks depending on the tone of the outcomes,” said Botha. 

JSE stocks closed higher with the blue-chip Top40 index rallying 1.56 percent to 51 578.06 points, while the broader all share index ticked up 1.49 percent to 57 705.64 points.

Top gainers among major movers were Fortress, which rallied 6.82 percent to R15.50 followed by Resilient, which added 6.23 percent to R54.60. Remgro gained 3.6 percent to R213.63, while Exxaro added 3.57 percent to R137.75 and MTN score 3.27 percent growth to R114.11.

The biggest losers were RCL Foods, which declined 2.12 percent to R16.64 followed by Nedbank Group, which fell 1.61 percent to R260.14. PSG Konsult dropped 1.42 percent to R9.75, while Gold Fields eased 1.4 percent to R47.11 and Impala Platinum gave up 1.11 percent to end the day at R18.65.


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