The US dollar edged higher in yesterday’s session as investors sought refuge in the haven on account of the ongoing raging Russia – Ukraine crisis. Dollar bulls garnered momentum as ceasefire talks remained strained with no feasible breakthrough in sight. The palpable uncertainty in global markets drove the dollar index to peak at 97.576 before closing out at 97.409.
The euro plunged to lows last seen in June 2020, weakening past the $1.1000 barrier, wiping out as much as 30bp of the ECB’s rate hike previously pencilled in by the market. With global markets on edge and continuing to eye the highly charged atmosphere in eastern Europe, the single currency initially held tightly to its earlier gains but ultimately faltered to the dollar’s rally to end the session at $1.1126.
Pound Sterling was not left unscathed as the dollar found an ally in risk aversion and exerted its dominance. The cable managed to break through the $1.3400 psychological level, bolstered by upbeat Markit PMI data but momentum swiftly turned to the downside for the cable as risk aversion was the order of the day. The pound finally ended the session at $1.3321.
The South African Rand suffered a second successive session of losses on Tuesday. Investor risk aversion fuelled the local currency’s decline on the day as all eyes remain closely fixed on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The rand had a promising start, touching a low of R15.2451/$, but stumbled at the start of the New York session, to rise to a high of R15.4952/$ before ending the session relatively firm at R15.4224/$.
Data remains thin on the local front. On the international data cards, we have housing data due from the UK, unemployment numbers due from Germany, consumer price data from the Eurozone as well as employment data from the US.
With no clear indication as to when Russia and Ukraine will find an amicable solution to their conflict, the rand remains vulnerable and will continue to track global trends.
Expected ranges for the day:
- USDZAR: R15.3000/$ – R15.5000/$
- EURUSD: $ 1.1070 – $1.1170
- GBPUSD: $ 1.3250 – $1.3350