The rand oscillated as the trading session progressed, starting the day on the back foot as negative sentiment surrounding load shedding, soaring unemployment and some global risk aversion spilled over to the European session, according to NKC Research.
On the latter point, the MSCI emerging market currency index dipped on Wednesday, led by weakness in the Turkish lira. As the session progressed, however, life returned to the local unit, to steer it to a two-year high against the dollar.
Traders are looking towards Friday’s US employment release, which is expected to show an above-consensus payroll gain of 854 000 jobs, reflecting the continued reopening of the economy, strong labour demand and some easing of supply constraints. The services sector should again lead the advance, driven by the leisure and hospitality industries, while goods employment should rebound from its April lull.
Furthermore, the unemployment rate should fall about 0.2 percentage points to 5.9 percent and the participation rate should rise 0.2 percentage points to 61.9 percent as reduced virus fears and increased vaccinations push individuals to re-join the workforce.
At the close of local trade, the rand was 0.91 percent stronger at R13.65 to the dollar, after trading in range of R13.59 to R13.82/$. The rand traded steady overnight.
The FTSE/JSE All Share Index ended 0.18 percent higher yesterday, led by gains in large financial (0.52 percent) and gold (0.82 percent) stocks. In the overall emerging-market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index traded 0.17 percent lower.
The Brent oil price traded higher yesterday after Opec+ signalled its intent gradually to restore supply to international oil markets. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures were 0.47 percent higher at $70.91per barrel. Crude prices extended their gains during Asian trade this morning.