Johannesburg - The rand continued to lose ground against the dollar in midday trade on Tuesday‚ as the market reacted to news of labour unrest at Anglo Platinum’s [JSE:AMS] Siphumelele mine in Rustenburg.
“This immediately resulted in a spike in $/R up to the low R8.90s‚” said Mark Kalkwarf‚ a senior portfolio manager at the Iquad Group.
At least 13 people were injured in a standoff between two rival trade unions that turned violent on Monday afternoon. It is alleged that National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop stewards returned to work yesterday but that mineworkers who are members of AMCU were not happy with their return.
Kalkwarf said that the recent volatility seen in the domestic currency is the result of the rand “being toggled between conflicting forces of the global environment favouring high-yielding currencies and negative local socio-economic and fiscal issues”.
These factors were likely to result in volatile and uncertain markets in the near-term‚ “however should there be a decline in labour tensions the rand is expected to reclaim its losses”.
At 11:47‚ the rand was bid at R8.9342/$ from Monday’s close of R8.8830 and Friday’s close of R8.8542. On Monday the intraday best level was R8.8117.
The local currency was bid at R11.9227/ from its previous close of R11.8514 and at R13.8249 against sterling from R13.7378 before.
The euro was bid at $1.3354 from $1.3348 at Monday’s close and $1.3338 at Friday’s close.