Currency outlook for the week ahead and foreign portfolio flows:
Rand movements during the week were influenced by the weakening dollar, which was driven by fears over PresidentTrump’s protectionist trade policy stance. On its own the rand is seen to have appreciated on stronger than expecteddomestic GDP figures, with growth rising 1.3% for 2017, above market expectations of around 1.0%.
The next two key domestic events that could affect the rand’s direction are Moody’s review scheduled for the 23rd March,followed by the MPC announcement on the 28th. Recently, Finance Minister Nene suggested that a ratings downgradeis likely to be averted. Additionally, SA’s improved growth figures and prospects, an important consideration for therating agencies when assessing sovereign risk, could strengthen the case against a further downgrade.
The rand is still one of the best performing emerging market currencies, year to date, out of a basket of 24 currencies.
In the week ahead, the rand is expected to trade in a range of R11.42/USD – R12.42/USD, R14.19/EUR - R15.19/EURand R15.96/GBP - R16.96/GBP.
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