The US dollar had a firm start to the week and traded within range for most of the day yesterday, as investors continued to tread carefully as they sought clarification on the fallout from the recent banking failures that have shook the market. However, the currency was later seen giving up some of its gains lending support to its rivals, ending the session at 102.857, down from its previous session.
The euro made a reversal and entered positive territory on the back of a weaker dollar, which traded softer in the latter part of the day as a risk-on environment fought for footing with the market as it assessed the recent financial sector debacle. The single currency closed the day firmer at $1.0799 after reaching a low of $1.0747.
The pound sterling jumped on the bandwagon of strengthening bias, bolstered by hawkish comments from the BOE governor reiterating how further monetary tightening is required if inflation persists. It was also cushioned by a positive sales report, indicating an economic recovery. The pound ended the session at $1.2287, having reached a high of $1.2294 on the day.
The local unit kick started the week with a weakening bias as risk sentiment remained fragile while the market gears up for the SARB’s interest rate announcement on Thursday, where a 25bps rate hike is expected as the domestic economy continues to wrestle with rotational power cuts and elevated inflation. The rand clocked in an intra-session high of R18.3500/$ yesterday, before closing out at R18.3200/$.
The economic calendar is muted today, with only the US Consumer Confidence print to look forward to. The rand will most likely be steered by the market’s alternating risk conditions.
Expected ranges for the day:
- USDZAR: R18.0500/$ – R18.3500/$
- EURUSD: $1.0700 – $1.0850
- GBPUSD: $1.2200 – $1.2400