The rand firmed against a softer dollar on Friday, regaining some ground lost a day earlier when the central bank kept lending rates unchanged in a decision that divided policymakers.
Stocks also firmed, along with emerging market peers.
At 1600 GMT the rand was 0.36% firmer at 14.43 per dollar compared to a close of 14.49 in New York on Thursday.
The rand firmed alongside other emerging market currencies, aided by a weaker dollar.
The dollar edged away from two-year highs on Friday after weak US manufacturing activity data sparked worries that the trade conflict with China may hurt the world’s largest economy and affect the currency’s safe-haven status.
The rand fell on Thursday after the Reserve Bank’s five-member policy committee voted 3-2 to keep rates steady at 6.75%, saying that while inflation and inflation expectations were close to the middle of the bank’s 3% to 6% target range, they had not yet settled there.
Investor focus now turn to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet appointments after his inauguration on Saturday.
Analysts say if Ramaphosa manages to trim a cabinet comprising more than 30 ministers and deputies, as he wants to do, that would be an early sign his fresh mandate has put him in a stronger position to overhaul South African politics.
“The appointment of a cabinet, ….will have a significant bearing on South Africa’s political risk premium and in turn domestic assets. Let’s hope that the market’s optimism regarding a lean and mean ministerial league is not misplaced,” RMB analysts said in a note.
In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell by 2 basis points to 8.36%.
On the bourse, the Johannesburg All-Share index rose 0.28% to 54 423 points while the Top-40 index also climbed 0.28% to 48 427 points.
Real estate firm Tradehold topped the gainers, rising 10.87% to R12.75 after full-year results showed headline earnings per share of 8 pence.
Bucking the upward trend was insurer Old Mutual which closed 3.23% to R21 after its chief executive left on Friday due to “breakdown in trust”.