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Rand weakens to R15/$ as Nene's fate hangs in the balance

Oct 09 2018 12:32

The rand weakened to R15/$ on Tuesday afternoon, amid continuing uncertainty over the fate of SA's Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and a marginally stronger dollar. 

The local currency opened the day at 14.84/$ and fell under the R15/$ mark at 12:30 to trade at 15.004/$, just over 1% weaker against the dollar on the day. 

It soon pulled back somewhat form the R15/$ mark, to trade at R14.96/$ at 12:47.

By 15:54, after the presidency put out a statement to say President Cyril Ramaphosa would make a public statement on Nene on Tuesday afternoon it was changing hands at R14.86/$. 

In addition to uncertainty around Nene, the local currency may also have been impacted by dollar strength. 

The dollar spot index - its value relative to a basket of six foreign currencies - was 96.06 on Tuesday at 12:19, 0.31% stronger on the day.

Earlier on Tuesday Bianca Botes of Peregrine Treasury Solutions said the rand could fall below R15/$ as uncertainty around Nene's fate casts a "shadow over National Treasury and the currency".

Neither Nene nor President Cyril Ramaphosa have officially commented on reports that Nene offered to resign following fallout from his testimony at the State Capture Inquiry that he met with members of the Gupta family several times between 2009 and 2014. Nene had not previously acknowledged the meetings. 

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