Rand weakens as Turkish lira slumps 5%

28 March 2019 - 14:35 By Karl Gernetzky

The rand was weaker on Thursday afternoon, but was avoiding the losses seen in the Turkish lira, which slumped 5% at one point.

The lira has swung wildly amid concern of intervention by that country’s central bank in currency movements. This could spill over to the rand, often seen as a proxy for other emerging-market currencies, due to its high liquidity.

At 2pm, the rand had fallen 0.93% to R14.735/$, 0.68% to R16.5413/€ and 0.61% to R19.3342/£. The euro was 0.25% weaker at $1.1226.

The benchmark R186 was bid at 8.75% from 8.71%.

Local focus is on the Reserve Bank interest-rate decision later. No change in rates is expected, but the tone will be scrutinised, amid volatility in the rand and recent dovish language from major global central banks.

Internationally, the spotlight is on Brexit, following the failure of the UK parliament to clearly chart a preferred path for the UK’s exit from the EU on Wednesday.

Bond yields are also being closely watched, with investors piling into debt as they seek safe-haven assets, analysts said. The inversion of the US treasury yield curve is also prompting concern that a recession is looming.

Emerging-market debt is lagging the phenomenal rally in the developed-market bonds, said Sasfin Wealth head of fixed-income dealing Ashley Dickinson. "Not to say that investors are bailing out of this sector, but the focus is centered on protection in hard currency bonds for now." 

- BusinessLIVE