Currency outlook for the week ahead and foreign portfolio flows:
The rand gained 2.78% over the last five days to currently trade at R13.98/USD, with net non-resident purchases of SA equities and bonds in the week so far of R3.3bn and R2.0bn respectively. The rand’s performance has been similar to that of most emerging market currencies which are strengthening into the end of the week. This directional move can be ascribed mainly to a weaker US$. The US$ index has approached one month lows on elevated policy and political uncertainty pertaining to the implementation of tax reform and news of the document subpoena to President Trump’s campaign officials, as part of the investigation to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The rand remains vulnerable to SA specific factors, with the currency coming under pressure in the earlier part of the week after the resignation of another senior Treasury official and speculation over interference in the Presidency in budget planning.