Rand firmer after Italian turmoil ends

The rand gained against major global currencies on Friday morning, buoyed by positive sentiment emanating from Europe, but with volatility in currency markets expected to continue.

Italy’s two largest eurosceptic parties struck a deal on Thursday for a coalition government, ending some of the uncertainty in that country, which had put pressure on the euro.

Focus will now switch the week’s primary data release — US nonfarm payrolls data for May. The data will be closely watched for signs of rising wage pressure in the US economy, and therefore indications of the direction that future US Federal Reserve policy will take.

Risk aversion continues to weigh on market sentiment, due to ongoing uncertainty regarding global trade. The US has opted to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium from Europe, something that has rattled markets, with retaliation from the continent expected to be announced later on Friday, analysts said.

Despite the firmer rand, local bonds were weaker and likely to remain so for the near future, said Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking analysts.

At 9.30am, the rand was at R12.6042 to the dollar from R12.7022, R14.7431 to the euro from R14.8540 and R16.7561 to the pound from R16.8849.

The euro was at $1.1697 from $1.1693.

The yield on the benchmark R186 government bond was last at 8.580%, from 8.535%, while the R207 was at 7.42% from 7.385%.

The US 10-year was unchanged at 2.8812% from 2.8559%.

Source: businesslive.co.za