MARKET WRAP: Rand holds steady as MPC keeps firm hand on rates

The rand posted marginal gains against the dollar and the JSE weakened on Thursday after the Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged and the US economy strengthened more than expected.

While the decision by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to hold the repo rate at 8.25% was unanimous and widely expected, news that US GDP expanded 3.3% in the fourth quarter caught markets by surprise and adds to the growing view that the Federal Reserve will be in no rush to cut rates. That pushes out the likelihood of cheaper money locally…