Rand strengthens, eyes on US inflation data

The rand firmed in early trade on Wednesday, but gains were limited as investors awaited monthly US inflation data that could provide clues on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy stance.

At 0613 GMT, the rand traded at R16.09 per dollar, 0.14% firmer than its previous close.

“The foreign exchange markets are confined to exceptionally limited trading ranges as the markets contemplate various central bank actions, the situation in Ukraine, and the effects of the escalation in the number of Covid-19 infections,” Nedbank analysts said.

US consumer price index (CPI) data for April is due at 1230 GMT.

After the Fed raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by 50 basis points last week, the largest hike in 22 years, investors have been attempting to assess how aggressive the US central bank will be.

Higher interest rates in the United States may lead to capital outflows and currency depreciation in emerging markets like South Africa.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 2030 government bond was down 6 basis points at 10.19%, reflecting firmer prices.

Source: moneyweb.co.za