Rand inches as offshore turmoil aids EM currencies

The rand opened marginally firmer on Wednesday with investors treading water and awaiting developments within the Brexit saga along with the US central bank’s decision on lending rates.

At 0645 GMT the rand was 0.06% firmer at 13.59 per dollar with a close of 13.60 overnight in New York.

The Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting ends afterwards Wednesday, and investors widely expect the financial institution to hold on to rates unchanged after recent comments from officials signalled a slower pace of rate increases this year.

A dovish Fed, along with political uncertainty and signs the world’s no. 1 economy is slowing, have spurred interest in emerging market assets this month and contains seen the rand outperform its peers – bar the Russian rouble.

A decision overnight by British lawmakers to reject a proposal allowing parliament a way to prevent a difficult exit with the European hurt sterling and triggered a risk rally in Asia.

Data from South Africa’s central bank on Wednesday showed credit demand and funds supply slowed in December, further indications of subdued consumer activity.

Bonds started firmer, with all the yield around the benchmark paper due in 2026 down 1 basis denote 8.75%.

Stocks are going to open slightly lower at 0700 GMT, when using the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index falling 0.14%.

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