The rand had turned negative by Tuesday afternoon after strengthening following the overnight Cabinet reshuffle by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The local currency failed to keep up its momentum as optimism on the appointments of Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan in pivotal economic positions was tempered by the redeployment of a number of ministers that served under President Jacob Zuma.
Some analysts welcomed Nene’s return as minister of finance and Gordhan at public enterprises‚ but the retention of some ministers from the Zuma era was criticised.
“The rand struggled to find direction after strengthening to a new three-year high against the dollar on Monday‚ and the Cabinet reshuffle could be behind the mixed sentiment for the currency‚” said FXTM analyst Jameel Ahmad.
Ahmad said the rand was also looking for direction from the highly-anticipated testimony to the US Congress by new Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell later in the afternoon.
The dollar was flat against the euro.
Signs that the Fed was leaning toward raising rates at a faster-than-expected pace this year could boost the dollar‚ as higher rates make the US currency more attractive to investors‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.
At 3pm the rand was at R11.6353 to the dollar from R11.5561‚ at R14.3318 to the euro from R14.2349 and at R16.218 to the pound from R16.1439.
The euro was at $1.2317 from $1.2318.
Source: TMG Digital.