The rand was slightly softer on Wednesday morning, under pressure along with its emerging-market peers after Chinese data underscored the damage being inflicted on the global economy by the US-China trade war.
Chinese industrial output growth in July missed market expectations, rising only 4.8% year on year, compared with the market’s target of 5.8% growth. This is the lowest growth since 2002.
At 10.05am the rand was down 0.34% to R15.1846/$, 0.39% at R16.9815/€ and 0.33% at R18.3074/£. The euro was flat at $1.1183.
The rand was only the fourth-worst performing currency tracked by Bloomberg on Wednesday, and is still off its worst levels for the week.
The local currency had pushed 1.18% higher against the greenback on Tuesday, following news that the US had agreed to delay the imposition of tariffs on a raft of Chinese goods.
Focus on Wednesday remains on economic data, with eurozone GDP numbers for the second quarter due at 11am, while local retail sales numbers for June are due at 1pm.
The rand now has the potential to gain some upward momentum, but a close eye will be kept on the geopolitical landscape, Peregrine Treasury Solutions corporate treasury manager Bianca Botes said in a note.