Cape Town - The rand hovered around a new eight-week high on Tuesday as investors slowly return to riskier assets.
However, there is still a long way to go before the local unit recoups ground lost when President Jacob Zuma unceremoniously axed Nhlanhla Nene in December.
NKC Research said in its daily economic report if new Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan manages to appease international investors with his budget speech on Wednesday, "we might see the rand make a run at technical resistance barriers around R15/$".
By 09:00 on Wednesday the currency was trading at R15.22 against the greenback from an overnight close of R15.19, even though Zuma told reporters that Des van Rooyen – who had a four-day tenure as finance minister – was the most "highly qualified" finance minister he has ever appointed.
READ: DA slams Zuma's 'unwise' Van Rooyen remarks
The rand has been slowly fighting back after holiday-thinned liquidity and emerging market uncertainty combined to send it crashing toward R18/$ during mid-January, said NKC.
NKC expects the rand to trade in a range of R15.10/$ to R15.35/$.
Adam Phillips of Umkhulu Consulting is however not convinced that the rand would push to R15/$, as "any further movements (either way) will be small, as operators wait for Gordhan to show his hand".
"If we do get moves it will be purely based on a demand and supply basis, although companies might wish to tidy up their accounts before the month end a little earlier with the budget taking place, if they have not done so already."
Phillips said if the local currency makes a move to below 15.13, "then I would look to establish a new level".
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