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Rand falls as risk appetite falters

In early trade the rand was at R15.33 against the dollar, 1.29% weaker than its close on Friday.
Image: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg

South Africa’s rand weakened in early trade on Monday, as risk appetite faltered after Western nations announced fresh sanctions to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin put nuclear-armed forces on high alert.

At 0606 GMT, the rand  traded at R15.33 against the dollar, 1.29% weaker than its close on Friday.

The United States and its allies on Saturday moved to block certain Russian banks’ access to the SWIFT international payment system, which traders and analysts said could disrupt Russian exports of all commodities from oil and metals to grains.

Putin put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert on Sunday, the fourth day of the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two. Local focus will the on economic data releases: the revenue agency will publish January trade balance figures at 1200 GMT and the National Treasury will release January budget balance numbers.

Government bonds also weakened, with the yield on the benchmark 2030 paper rising 7 basis points to 9.335%.

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