The rand oscillated around the symbolic R12/$ level on Friday morning‚ near the end of a fairly twitchy week for the broader financial markets.
Catalysts were few and far between‚ though US President Donald Trump’s Twitter tirade kept markets on edge.
Earlier in the week‚ tempers flared when Trump threatened to attack Russia’s ally‚ Syria‚ over the suspected use of chemical weapons in the war-torn country.
“Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event‚ the US‚ under my administration‚ has done a great job of ridding the region of Isis. Where is our ‘Thank you America?’‚” Trump said in a tweet on Thursday.
But geopolitical tension did little to shake the rand‚ which traditionally has been sensitive to war rhetoric.
ETM Analytics market analyst Halen Bothma said earlier in the week that the improving domestic outlook shielded the rand against the perceived risks in global markets.
The stronger rand helps keep inflation in check‚ although it can be thorn in the flesh for exporters.
Inflation has been relatively benign‚ which provided scope in March for the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates for the second time in five years. Statistics SA will update the figures for March next week.
At 9.55am‚ the rand was at R12.0333 to the dollar from R12.0604‚ at R14.8528 to the euro from R14.8668 and at R17.1744 to the pound from R17.1587
The euro was at $1.2343‚ from $1.2326.
by Andries Mahlangu -BusinessLIVE