Rand weakens in risk-off trade
The rand was weaker against major global currencies on Monday afternoon as investors shied away from risk assets ahead of possible volatility this week.
Concern over slowing global trade and uncertainty over the US-China trade war was weighing on sentiment, as US officials headed to Beijing in a bid to iron out a trade deal before a March 1 tariff deadline.
An acknowledgement from US President Donald Trump that no meeting was planned with Chinese President Xi Jinping later in February had been widely taken as a signal that a deal was unlikely to be achieved, Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said.
At 2pm the rand was 0.92% weaker against the dollar at R13.7456, 0.83% lower to the euro at R15.5512/€ and 0.81% softer against the pound at R17.7505/£. The euro was flat at $1.1314.
Locally, Eskom resumed load-shedding on Monday, while ratings agency Moody’s said earlier that President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address last week was light on practical details.
Moody's said that aside from the proposals to reduce financial stress at embattled power utility Eskom, which included financial support from the government and splitting the entity into three, Ramaphosa’s speech "offered few concrete measures to overcome these structural challenges in the face of entrenched vested interests".
Eskom unions have promised to resist job losses at the embattled entity.