The rand firmed to its strongest in nearly nine weeks on Thursday, with market sentiment boosted by optimism over recovering global growth as economies reopen after coronavirus lockdowns.
The currency traded at R17.31 per dollar at 08:15, up nearly 0.4% from its previous close and its strongest since March 27.
By 11:37 it had weakened to R17.42, down 0.22%. The rand was down 0.31% at R21.38 to the pound, and down 0.18% at R19.17 to the euro.
The optimism over a global economic recovery trumped immediate concerns about a stand-off between the United States and China over Hong Kong.
“Tension between the US and China is growing,” Bianca Botes, executive director at Peregrine Treasury Solutions, said in a client note. “In spite of this, the rand is holding rather firm … while seeking momentum to break another leg stronger in the short term.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced a further easing of the country’s lockdown from June 1, allowing the vast majority of the economy to return to full capacity.
The government is due to provide further details on Thursday.
In fixed income, the yield on the instrument due in 2030 was down a single basis point at 8.975% in early trade.