Markets WRAP: Rand closes at R15.09/$
The rand closed at R15.09 to the greenback on Thursday afternoon.
TreasuryONE said in the note to clients that the local unit was on the backfoot for most of the day at it traded up toward the R15.18 mark - a similar high to yesterday as investors fled the country as local bonds and equities are sold off.
"Over the past week, we saw the ZAR losing 3% against the dollar while the Turkish lira gained just over 2% during the period."
Stocks climb with yuan as China eases concerns
Stocks in Asia rose along with European and US equity futures and the yuan after China’s stronger than expected daily fixing of its currency eased fears about a worsening trade conflict.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for a second day, with South Korean stocks outperforming amid signs of easing tensions with Japan. China’s Shanghai Composite rose from the lowest level since February and gains in the yuan helped lift the Australian dollar.
European stock futures were about 1% higher along with more modest gains for contracts on the S&P 500 Index, which eked out a gain on Wednesday. Oil surged.
Thursday’s move by the People’s Bank of China was seen as an effort to stabilize its currency and went some way to easing concern that peaked on Monday, when a weak reference rate helped trigger the biggest loss in the yuan since 2015 and fueled concern of further declines.
Still, despite evidence of some renewed risk appetite, traders remain jumpy about the potential for escalation in the trade war with the U.S.
“It’s a signal that they want to contain the amount of depreciation that’s taking place to control sentiment and avoid any rush to the exit in terms of capital outflow,” Andrew Tilton, chief economist for Asia Pacific at Goldman Sachs, told Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong.