The rand was stuck in a “stubbornly” tight range in early trade on Tuesday‚ unfazed by the looming strikes set to kick off at local platinum mines this week.
At 8.31am‚ the rand was at R10.8489 to the dollar from its overnight close of R10.8374.
Against the euro‚ the rand was at R14.7010 from R14.6857 at its previous close and was at R17.8238 against the pound from R17.8070 at Monday’s close.
The euro was at $1.3549 from $1.3546 at its previous close.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) on Monday served SA’s three major platinum producers‚ Anglo American Platinum‚ Impala Platinum and Lonmin‚ with a notice to embark on a legal strike on Thursday after wage negotiations deadlocked.
The union also extended its strike notice to key gold mining companies‚ but the Chamber of Mines is expected to challenge its legality after wage agreements were finalised in the gold industry last year.
“We remain of the opinion that this week’s legal strike activity might already be priced into the rand‚” Absa Capital wrote in a morning note‚ citing that the currency had remained in a “stubborn short-term trading range of R10.82-R10.96 to the dollar.
The bank said higher than expected consumer inflation for December‚ which was expected at 5.5%‚ was more of a risk to the rand due to its implications on interest rates. Higher inflation is seen as putting more pressure on the Reserve Bank to hike interest rates‚ a move that may see the currency weaken in the short term.
Statistics South Africa is expected to release the consumer price index on Wednesday.