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South Africa’s Rand Missing Out On The EM Rebound

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South Africa’s Rand Hits Low — Stocks Firm

The rand is missing out on the emerging-market rebound.

Poor economic data, worries about financial troubles at state-owned power firm Eskom and negative commentary from credit rating agencies have all contributed to recent rand weakness, exacerbating broader concerns about emerging markets and trade tensions between the United States and China.

While MSCI’s gauge for developing-nation currencies is up 0.2%, with 17 out of 24 major peers gaining against the dollar, the South African currency is poised for an eighth day of losses, the longest streak in two years.

Rand Currency Is Missing Out On The EM Rebound. You Guessed It

Mining production data released Thursday added to the rand-specific risk-off sentiment after it showed an eighth consecutive drop in June. Investors are also fretting about higher taxes to pay for a planned national health service, and lack of progress in rescuing Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the ailing state-owned electricity company.

“The amount of risk the rand is carrying at the moment, people may not be willing to carry it over the extended weekend,” said Simon Harvey, a London-based FX analyst at Monex Europe Ltd. South African markets will be closed for a national holiday on Friday.

The rand was down 0.4% to 15.1121 per dollar by 12:05 p.m. in Johannesburg, its weakest level on a closing basis since Sept. 2018. The rand is also the most volatile currency in the world, with the one-week implied volatility climbing a fourth day.

“The amount of risk the rand is carrying at the moment, people may not be willing to carry it over the extended weekend,” said Simon Harvey, a London-based FX analyst at Monex Europe Ltd. South African markets will be closed for a national holiday on Friday.

At 1515 GMT, the rand traded flat at 15.0500 per dollar, after hitting 15.2000 earlier, its weakest level since September 2018.

 

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