RAND, BOURSE END WEEK FIRMER
THE RAND barely moved in afternoon deals on Friday, giving up earlier gains stemming from dovish comments by the US Federal Reserve chief.
However, later in the day the rand firmed to close at R13.8405 to the dollar.
In the absence of major domestic drivers and with local market activity thin this week, the rand has taken its cue from global drivers.
Analysts at Nedbank CIB said technical factors pointed to the rand staying strong, with potential target levels of R13.53 and 13.38 against the dollar on the back of healthy appetite for emerging markets (EM).
Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman Jerome Powell stressed again on Thursday the US central bank could be patient in approving further interest rate increases, cementing market expectations the pace of monetary tightening will slow.
The rand and other EM currencies were battered in 2018 by four Fed rate hikes which boosted the dollar and dented appetite for riskier assets.
On the bourse, stocks gained, tracking an upbeat tone in other emerging markets as hopes of a US-China trade deal lifted sentiment. The blue chip JSE Top40 index was up 0.69 percent at 47 491.38 points and the broader all share index rose 0.72 percent to 53 653.38 points.
In fixed income, the benchmark 2026 government bond also firmed.