Rand weakens as virus resurgence fears hit appetite

Rand weakens as virus resurgence fears hit appetite


JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand weakened marginally on Wednesday, as worries about a resurgence of COVID-19 cases hurt global markets and as local investors awaited inflation data for cues on the economy.

At 0534 GMT, the rand traded at 14.3250 versus the dollar, 0.14% weaker than its New York close on Tuesday.

Asian shares and U.S. stock futures also fell on Wednesday as recent optimism about rising vaccination rates in the United States, Britain and Europe gave way to concerns that record coronavirus cases in India and fresh travel restrictions would act as a brake on the global economy.

In recent weeks especially, the rand has tended to take its cue from such global drivers. However, investors will look to the consumer price index on Wednesday for clues about inflationary pressures.

Inflation has been weak since the government imposed a strict coronavirus lockdown more than a year ago, dipping below the central bank’s 3%-6% target range in February.

Government bonds also fell, with the yield on the benchmark instrument due in 2030 down 2 basis points at 9.065%.


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