Rand steady in early trade

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Cape Town – The rand remained steady in early trade on Friday, as investors wait to see whether newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa will reshuffle his Cabinet.  

According to Bloomberg the ANC’s national executive committee is set to meet on Sunday for the first time since since Jacob Zuma resigned as president on February 14. 

Speculation has been rife that Ramaphosa could switch out members of his Cabinet who were close to former President Zuma, or connected to state capture. 

Ramaphosa has not yet announced whether, or when, he will do so. 

At 09:30 the local unit was trading at R11.68 to the dollar, slightly up from its opening of R11.66. 

Philip Pearce, a dealer at TreasuryONE, and economists from NKC African Economics both said on Friday morning they expected the local unit to trade in a range between R11.60/$ and R11.80/$ on Friday. 

The rand had fallen to a low of R11.73 against the greenback on Thursday.

Pearce said this relative weakness was caused by dollar strength, coupled with consolidation in the wake of the Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s Budget Speech which was favourable received by investors.

“The Budget may help us avert a downgrade by Moody’s in March but it is growth restrictive, and locals are having mixed feelings over the increase in VAT,” he said. “The jump in the Dollar index has now subsided and has resulted in the Rand meandering back into the mid-11.60’s”.

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