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Rand steady, focus on US stimulus talks

In early trade the rand was at R16.24 versus the US dollar.
Image: Shutterstock

The rand steadied in early trade on Friday but was on track to clock weekly gains as optimism about a new stimulus package in the United States boosted risk taking.

At 0600 GMT, the rand traded at R16.24 versus the US dollar, not far off its previous close of R16.23.

The currency, which rallied to its best in a month on Thursday, looked set for weekly gains of more than 1.5%.

Hopes for a new US coronavirus relief package ahead of the November 3 presidential election remain up in the air, but optimism that they will soon be concluded has kept high yielding currencies bid with investors scouring the global market for returns.

Local focus is on the medium term budget speech due on Wednesday, when the extent of the country’s fiscal problems should become clearer.

A Reuters poll showed that South Africa’s consolidated fiscal deficit was set to widen further than projected in June’s emergency Covid-19 budget as a third-quarter rebound in economic growth will not boost tax receipts enough.

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