The dollar leaped to levels last seen in June 2020 as geopolitical tensions reached a boiling point and spilled over, resulting in a full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The Russian assault saw investors make a beeline towards the US dollar, cementing its status as a safe-haven asset. Overnight, President Joe Biden imposed a new set of sanctions, targeting four Russian banks who collectively hold over $1trn in assets. The dollar index outperformed its rivals in yesterday’s session and shot up to a high of 97.735 before closing the day at 97.137.
The euro plummeted to a low of $1.1105 as risk appetite was a no-show earlier in yesterday’s session. The euro made a futile attempt to retrace its losses in the latter parts of the session but remained a casualty of the massive dollar rally. The common currency closed the session at $1.1191.
The pound was no exception and also succumbed to the onslaught of dollar bulls. With diplomacy out the window and in solidarity with Ukraine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also initiated further economic sanctions on Russia in an effort to enforce political reform. Positive sentiment towards the cable was caught in the crossfire and sent the pound reeling to a low of $1.3269. After trading a high of $1.3549 the pound ended the day at $1.3375.
Our beloved currency weakened sharply in yesterday’s session, finishing the day on the backfoot after Russia set in motion an extreme form of an invasion. Which saw investors sort for safety in safe havens as geopolitical turmoil plummets. The rand was further pressed down by Fitch ratings comments about the tabled budget, raising concerns about the sustainability of the revenue growth. The local unit ended the day at R15.34$ after reaching a high of R15.53$.
We are thin on data on the local front. Internationally, we have GDP data in Germany and durable goods in the U.S. The rand is most likely to remain pressured as the geopolitical tensions continue to waiver the market.
Expected ranges for the day:
- USDZAR: R15.1500/$ – R15.4000/$
- EURUSD: $ 1.1185 – $1.1300
- GBPUSD: $ 1.3400 – $1.3520