South African rand firms as investors assess Russia impact

The South African rand was slightly stronger in early trade on Monday, as investors watched for potential ripple effects of the aborted weekend mutiny in Russia.

At 0703 GMT, the rand traded at 18.7250 against the dollar, about 0.2% stronger than its previous close.

The dollar was steady against a basket of global currencies.

The market impact of a short-lived rebellion by Russian mercenaries on Saturday was still unclear, analysts said, with global oil prices slightly higher on concerns about Russian stability and crude supply.

In local news, state utility Eskom said on Sunday that power cuts would be implemented at relatively low levels throughout the week, as fewer breakdowns at power stations had led to more generation capacity.

Many South Africans were facing power cuts of around 10 hours a day until recently, but there have been some signs of improvement in the last few weeks as the country grapples with its worst power crisis on record.

South Africa’s May producer price index (ZAPPI=ECI), (ZAPPIY=ECI) on Thursday, and money supply (ZAM3=ECI), budget (ZABUDM=ECI) and trade figures (ZATBAL=ECI) on Friday will give further indications about the health of Africa’s most industrialized economy.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was slightly weaker in early deals, the yield up 0.5 basis points at 10.680%.

Source: Reuters