The rand edged up in early trade on Wednesday, ending a two-day losing streak in thinning trade ahead of holidays.
At 0528 GMT, the rand traded at R14.65 against the US dollar, 0.17% higher than its previous close.
The rand had been battered this week as countries around the world closed their borders to both Britain and South Africa following their identification of new, fast-spreading variants of the coronavirus.
But it held firm even as US stock futures fell, commodities slipped and Treasuries edged higher after President Donald Trump threatened at the last minute to derail a long-awaited pandemic relief bill.
Uncertainty around the stimulus combined with headline-driven swings in sentiment as Britain’s Brexit date approaches and concerns about the pandemic recovery pushed investors into and out of riskier bets, producing a wavering dollar and helping the rand.
At 0553 GMT, the dollar index was slightly weaker at 90.448.
Government bonds were flat, with the yield on the instrument due in 2030 at 8.760%.