The South African Rand’s Performance Amid Global Market Changes
On the 27th of September, the South African Rand showed minimal change in its early trades, a contrast to its decline the previous day attributed to the rising U.S. Treasury yields.
The Rand was trading at 19.0700 against the dollar, marking a marginal increase of 0.07% from its previous close. Simultaneously, the dollar experienced a slight rise of 0.08% against a basket of world currencies.
The Rand’s previous loss of up to 1.4% against the dollar was a consequence of the surge in U.S. Treasury yields, which led investors to shift away from riskier assets.
Analysts from Rand Merchant Bank explained that the Rand’s losses mirrored the dollar’s gains, the latter being a result of speculation about another potential increase in interest rates, prompted by ongoing hawkish talk from the Federal Reserve.
Impact of Global Factors on the South African Rand
As with other risk-sensitive currencies, the South African Rand tends to be influenced by global elements such as U.S. monetary policy.
South Africa is set to release various economic indicators, such as producer price inflation, money supply, trade balance, and budget figures for August, on Thursday and Friday.
These numbers will provide valuable insight into the health of the South African economy.
The South African Rand, symbol R and code ZAR, is the official currency of the Southern African Common Monetary Area, which includes South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, and Eswatini. The currency is subdivided into 100 cents.
The name ‘Rand’ is derived from the Afrikaans word for ‘ridge,’ referring to the Witwatersrand (white waters ridge), where Johannesburg is located, and a majority of South Africa’s gold deposits were found.
Historical Overview of the South African Rand
The Rand was introduced in the Union of South Africa in 1961, three months before the country declared itself a republic. It replaced the South African pound as legal tender at a rate of 2 Rand to 1 pound. Until the late 1970s, the Rand was worth around R1.5 per U.S. dollar.
However, over the ensuing decades, the Rand exchange rate has depreciated, implying that it costs more Rand to convert to one U.S. dollar.
The South African Reserve Bank
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB), modeled after the Bank of England, is the monetary authority for South Africa and issues its currency.
The SARB has major responsibilities similar to those of other central banks and is also known as a creditor in certain situations, a clearing bank, and a major custodian of gold.
Above all else, the central bank is in charge of the achievement and maintenance of price stability. This also includes intervention in the forex markets when necessary.
Since its inception, the value of the Rand was linked to the price of gold, South Africa’s primary export. In recent years, the Rand has shown some correlation with gold prices, as the South African economy still heavily relies on its gold exports. Gold represents 15% of total exports in 2019, or 16.8 billion, with other significant exports including palladium and iron ore, primarily to China, Europe, and the United States.
South Africa’s Benchmark 2030 Government Bond Trades
In related news, South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was slightly weaker in early trades, with the yield increasing by 1.5 basis points to 10.790%.
This change in the bond market is an important consideration for investors and traders alike, as it directly impacts the country’s borrowing costs and the returns on investment for bondholders.
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