JOHANNESBURG - A resurgent dollar and generally risk-off tone on global markets kept the rand under pressure shortly before midday on Thursday‚ with focus still squarely on an expectation of tightening US monetary policy in 2018.
US personal consumption expenditures — the US Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation — is due at 3.30pm local time‚ and will be watched by the market.
US Federal Reserve chairperson Jerome Powell will meanwhile resume testimony before Congress at 5pm local time. Powell’s bullish commentary on the US economic outlook earlier this week buoyed the dollar‚ while global equities and bonds have come under pressure.
Local politics was taking a back-seat‚ and despite headlines around appropriation of land without compensation‚ rand weakness was due to other global factors‚ said Standard Bank currency trader Warrick Butler.
At 11.30am‚ the rand was at R11.9037 to the dollar from R11.7948‚ R14.5084 to the euro from R14.3816 and at R16.3706 to the pound from R16.2283.
The euro was at $1.2189 from $1.2193.