JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand held steady in early Thursday trade following a surge in the previous session, as investors awaited more local data for clues on how bad the economy is performing after a recession.
At 0604 GMT, the rand was flat at 15.2900 rand against the dollar, compared to an overnight close of 15.2840.
A basket of emerging market currencies firmed on Wednesday as the dollar eased after additional liquidity measures by central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Investors will now turn to the domestic calendar as the central bank will release current account deficit figures for the fourth quarter at 0900 GMT. The deficit narrowed to 3.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter.
“This will provide some insight into pressures affecting the rand. Market expectations are for an improvement in the current account deficit as a percentage of GDP, which is likely a function of the improved trade balance in the final quarter of 2019,” said ETM Analytics in a note.
“The current account remains in a deficit, however, and downside risks to exports growth at the start of the year suggest that any narrowing in the final quarter of last year could be short-lived.”
Bonds were stronger with the yield on the 10-year 2030 government issue down 4.5 basis points at 7.790%. – Reuters Africa