Rand cheers Gigaba’s ‘tough but hopeful budget’



Cape Town – The rand firmed almost 1% after Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivered what he called “a tough but hopeful budget”.

Currency traders earlier said the rand exchange rate would be volatile throughout the almost two-hour delivery of the Budget Speech.

By 15:53 the local unit was trading 0.77% firmer at R11.63 to the dollar from an intra-day low of R11.78 against the greenback in the run-up to the Budget Speech.

Traders have pinned the range for the day at between R11.65 to R11.85/$.

The rand weakened to R11.73 from its overnight close of R11.72 earlier in the session after Statistics South Africa announced that CPI eased to 4.4% in January 2018, in line with expectations and down from 4.7% in December 2017. This was mainly due to a drop in the fuel price.

Globally the dollar has continued its short-term rally after a series of losses from January.

“This could be a technical recovery as fears regarding a weaker dollar policy from the US still loom,”  said TreasuryONE trader Gerard van der Westhuizen.

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