The rand touched a three-week high against the dollar on Friday, taking advantage of a generally risk-positive global environment, although a platinum strike which has hit exports poses pressure for the currency.
The rand climbed to R10.4470/$, the strongest it has been since April 11, and was at R10.4625/$ by 16:28 GMT, up 0.28% from Thursday’s close.
The market appeared to have priced in the risks from the political turmoil in Ukraine, while surprisingly strong US jobs data for April failed to give the dollar a sustained boost.
“The whole of emerging markets has had a bid tone for a couple of days now; there is a general risk-off feel to the market at the moment,” Rand Merchant Bank trader Jim Bryson said.
The rand would next target 10.4200 and 10.3600 per dollar after breaking through key resistance at 10.4800, he added.
On the downside for the local unit, market watchers are worried about the impact of a 14-week old strike in the platinum sector on exports, and ultimately on the current account.
“It doesn’t seem to end and that’s obviously in the background. The trade figure we had this week is a direct result of our exports falling away, so we need to sort that out,” Bryson said.
Government bonds closed slightly firmer on Friday, and yields dipped 1.5 basis points each to 8.43% for the 2026 benchmark and 6.765% for the shorter-dated 2015 issue.