The rand was trading softer on Thursday afternoon continuing its downward trend from Wednesday‚ with the market in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) announcement on Thursday.
Expectations are that more monetary stimulus will be announced by the Fed. The decision is expected at 4.30pm GMT and chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to address the media two hours later.
“The rand was relatively quiet compared to yesterday reaching a low of R8.44 today‚ with local oil companies seen buying dollars from local banks‚” a trader said.
At 4.09pm‚ the rand was bid at R8.3535 to the dollar from R8.3216 at Wednesday’s close. It was bid at R10.7656 to the euro from its previous close of R10.7433 and at R13.4388 against sterling from R13.4069 before. The euro was bid at $1.2894 from $1.2901 at Wednesday’s close.
Bonds weaker ahead of US Fed meeting
The SA bond market was weaker across the yield curve in late trade‚ but off earlier lows‚ just a few hours before the eagerly awaited US Fed policy report.
At 3.47pm‚ the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 5.490 percent from 5.480 percent at Wednesday’s close and 5.360 percent at Tuesday’s close. The R207 was trading at 6.550 percent from Wednesday’s close of 6.485 percent‚ and the R186 was trading at 7.430 percent from 7.400 percent at its previous close.