Currency outlook for the week ahead and foreign portfolio flows:

The rand traded relatively flat against all the major currencies, towards the earlier part of last week, before losing ground against the greenback later on in the week. This was primarily on the back of a stronger USD, following investor expectations of a US interest rate hike this week. On Friday afternoon the rand was trading at 11.96/USD, 16.7/GBP and 14.7/EUR, having depreciated by 1.2%, 2.0% and 1.1% against these currencies respectively over the week.

Market participants are awaiting the much anticipated Moody’s review, which is scheduled to be announced this Friday 23rd March. SA’s credit rating with Moody’s is presently one notch above non-investment grade and a downgrade to junk status would result in the expulsion from the Citi World 
Government Bond Index. However after meeting with rating agencies recently, Finance Minister Nene commented that “Our budget was well-received and they seem confident about the political developments in the recent weeks’. We expect Moody’s credit rating to remain unchanged at this March review.

In the week ahead, the rand is expected to trade in a range of R11.54/USD – R12.54/USD, R14.27/EUR - R15.27/EUR and R16.26/GBP - R17.26/GBP.

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