The dollar advanced in yesterday’s session, challenging the 99 zone once again, following the anticipated arrival of the US President in Brussels along with other western leaders to discuss further targeted sanctions against Russia. The dollar index rose to a high of 98.883 and ended the session at 98.622.
The euro tracked lower for a 3rd consecutive session pressured by a stronger dollar. The single currency was further weighed by a decline in Eurozone Consumer Confidence print of -18.7 from a prior -8.8, marking the worst reading since May 2020, indicating the detrimental effects of the Russian invasion. The euro fell to a low of $1.1043 and ended the day at $1.1004.
Pound Sterling came under downside pressure, registering losses for the better part of the session following a higher UK CPI data print of 6.2% from a prior 5.5%. The latest UK tax cuts failed to underpin the cable. The pound touched a low of $1.3171 and closed at $1.3203.
The local currency continued to post gains ahead of the SARB interest rate decision along with raised global risk sentiment. Commodity prices, in the likes of gold prices are back up and lent further support to the rand. The rand strengthened to a low of R14.7300/$ and ended the session firm at R14.7534/$.
Local CPI YoY for February printed at 5.7%, remaining unchanged from January, whereas a MoM increased print from 0.2% to 0.6% was observed as shared by Statistics South Africa yesterday.
The Monetary Policy Committee concludes their meeting today and will announce their interest rate decision this afternoon. A hike is certainly on the cards, we wait in anticipation as to whether SARB will hike the repo rate by 25 basis points or 50 basis points.
On the data front, locally we have the release of PPI figures to look forward to while internationally the US will print Initial Jobless Claims and Durable Goods, an array of sentiment data from the EU and the UK is on the cards as well. We expect the rand to take its direction from the events of today.
Expected ranges for the day:
- USDZAR: R14.6000/$ – R15.0100/$
- EURUSD: $ 1.0806 – $1.1035
- GBPUSD: $ 1.3175 – $1.3214