Rand steady ahead of ratings reviews

The rand was little changed in early trade on Friday, as investors awaited scheduled reviews of South Africa’s sovereign credit ratings by S&P Global and Moody’s later in the day.

At 09:25, the rand traded at R17.34 against the dollar, near Thursday’s closing level of R17.35.

The rand was down about 0.4% against the dollar since last Friday’s close.

ETM Analytics said in a research note that it expected S&P and Moody’s to leave South Africa’s ratings and outlooks unchanged.

Although government finances have been boosted by high commodity prices, risks like persistent power cuts and a public sector wage dispute mean the ratings agencies may wait until after the February budget before taking any action, it said.

Next week, investors will focus on an interest rate decision by the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) on Thursday, a day after the release of October inflation figures.

Consumer inflation slowed to 7.5% year on year in September, but it remains well above the Sarb’s 3%-6% target range.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Top 40 index was up about 0.8%.

The government’s benchmark 2030 bond was stronger in early deals, with the yield down 7.5 basis points at 10.365%.

Source: moneyweb.co.za