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Rand falls ahead of interest rate decision

In early trade the rand was at R17.19 against the dollar, 0.22% weaker than its previous close.

The rand weakened against the dollar in early trade on Thursday, as investors awaited the outcome of a central bank monetary policy meeting later in the day.

At 14:56, the rand traded at R17.10 against the dollar, 0.20% weaker than its previous close.

Read: Repo rate hike: 75bps or 50bps?

Rand vs US dollar

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) will announce its repo rate decision just after 3pm SA time.

A Reuters poll published last week predicted the bank would raise its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points (bps) to 5.25% as it tries to rein in inflation.

On Wednesday, data showed headline consumer inflation quickened more than forecast to 7.4% year on year in June, versus analysts’ predictions for 7.2% and a reading of 6.5% in May. This could see the Sarb opt for a steeper 75bps hike.

“Monetary tightening by the Sarb will primarily be aimed at anchoring inflation expectations and keeping up with the global wave of monetary tightening to avoid a further rand blowout and financial market instability,” ETM Analytics said in a research note.

Read:
Record-low real rate sets stage for aggressive SA hike
Rand hits R17 to the US dollar

On the stock market, the Top-40 Index and the broader all-share indexes opened slightly lower.

The government’s benchmark 2030 bond was weaker in early deals, with the yield up 3.5 bps at 10.985%.

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