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Rand firm as market focus turns to Moody's ratings decision

Mar 14 2018 12:22
Jan Cronje

Cape Town - The rand continued to trade marginally stronger against the dollar on Wednesday, after firming 0.25% against the greenback on Tuesday.

At 12:00 the rand was trading 0.37% stronger at R11.77/$ after firming to an intraday low of R11.73/$ earlier in the session.

It had opened at R11.81. 

The local currency gained ground against the dollar on Tuesday, on the back of back of positive manufacturing data and slight dollar weakness after US President Donald Trump dismissed his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Local market analysts expect the rand to continued to trade in a band between R11.70/$ and R11.90/$ on Wednesday. 

Looking towards March 23

Bianca Botes of corporate treasury management at Peregrine Treasury Solutions said market focus was shifting to what would happen on March 23, when ratings agency Moody’s may announce whether it will downgrade South Africa’s sovereign debt or not. 

The agency could, however, make the announcement before or after the date. 

Moody’s, which has SA on review for downgrade, is the only major ratings agency to not have downgraded SA's sovereign credit rating to non-investment grade. 

In late November, during its last ratings action for SA, Moody’s said it would reassess South Africa’s rating after the 2018 Budget.

Gerard van der Westhuizen, dealer at TreasuryONE, said in a statement that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene's roadshow to woo investors and ratings agencies appears to have been "well received". 

Nene and his team, along with representatives of labour and business, is spending the week talking up SA to investors and ratings agencies in the UK and the US.

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moody's  |  nhlanhla nene  |  donald trump  |  currencies  |  markets  |  downgrade  |  rand


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