Rand little changed; global focus on US jobs data

The rand was little changed in early trade on Friday, as traders held off from big bets before closely-watched US job data later in the day.

At 0700 GMT, the rand traded at R18.62 against the dollar.

The US non-farm payrolls report comes on the heels of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting where Chair Jerome Powell pushed back against market expectations of rate cuts in March.


“It has been a strong week for the rand … (as) the trade-weighted dollar gave up some ground, US bond yields nudged lower and risk rallies emerged,” ETM Analytics said in a research note.

“One eye now turns to the latest US non-farm payroll data scheduled for release this afternoon, which will likely have the last say on how the dollar ends the week.”

When there are no major local economic data releases like on Friday, the rand often takes its cue from offshore drivers and dollar moves.

Thursday’s data releases included a weak PMI survey for the South African manufacturing sector and a continued contraction in new vehicle sales, pointing to a sluggish start to 2024 for Africa’s most industrialised economy.

Source: moneyweb.co.za