MARKET WRAP: Rand bucks EM currency trend, firming despite hawkish US Fed

The rand firmed, somewhat unexpectedly say some analysts, even though the US Federal Reserve said on Wednesday it would speed up the tapering of its stimulus programme and may hike rates at a faster rate than previously expected.

“It is unusual for the rand to have firmed quite this much,” said TreasuryONE currency strategist Andre Cilliers. “The US Fed’s minutes didn’t really amount to much apart from more of the same. One thing that could have helped the rand is that as businesses start to open again after the holidays, exporters are selling their dollars for rands as they are paid for their goods leaving the country.”..