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Rand slumps 4% against dollar in two days

Jun 08 2018 17:14

Rand losses over the past two days underline how quickly emerging market currencies can unwind in unfavourable conditions, according to analysts. 

The local currency has lost about 4% against the dollar over the past two days. 

On Friday at the rand was trading at 13.13/$ at 16:44, down 1.25% on the day. It earlier reached an intraday low of R13.28. 

This is the worst level the currency has traded at since mid-December. A week ago, on June 1, it was changing hands at R12.66. 

"This move has nothing really to do with South Africa," said TreasuryONE in an afternoon note, adding it was caused by a broader shift out of emerging market currencies and back into US markets and the currencies of the G7 nations. 

"The move is totally unexpected and reminds us how quickly emerging market currencies can unwind."

As Bloomberg reported earlier, part of the slump was caused by investors betting there was little chance the SA Reserve Bank would follow emerging-market peers and raise interest rates.

Poor GDP figures didn't help

"Emerging markets in general were on the back foot (on Thursday) as investors lost their risk appetite and piled into safe-haven US Treasury bonds. However, the South African currency was one of the worst-performing emerging market currencies versus the greenback on Thursday, reflecting the recent run of poor South African data releases and waning ‘Ramaphoria’," noted NKC African Economics in a statement.  

Speaking in Johannesburg on Friday, meanwhile, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said the 2.2% fall in GDP would likely necessitate a downward revision of optimistic predictions for growth in 2018

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rand  |  markets  |  currencies
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