JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand clung to recent gains early on Wednesday as global risk appetite retreated after the United States central bank played down expectations of aggressive interest-rate cuts.
At 0645 GMT, the rand was up 0.19% at 14.3300 per dollar from an overnight close of 14.3575. Lack of local economic data and a political lull kept the currency in a narrow range.
The early session was mixed for emerging-market currencies, with most Asian currencies slipping back while commodity-backed currencies remained steady.
“Yesterday evening saw speeches from a few Fed officials tempering down the possibility of U.S. rate cuts at the July meeting,” said Oliver Alwar said, a senior trader at Standard Bank. “This resulted in EM currencies relinquishing some gains, global equities retreating and the dollar come back to a small degree.”
On Tuesday, members of the Federal Reserve’s policy committee toned down the outlook for rates, with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard saying a 50-basis-point rate cut “would be overdone.”
Investors still expect a cut of at least a quarter point at the bank’s July meeting.
Bonds were flat, with the yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 down 0.5 basis points to 8.165%. – Reuters Africa