Rand weaker

JOHANNESBURG. — The and was weaker against major currencies yesterday morning with the US Federal Reserve scheduled to release the minutes from its December meeting later in the session. At 8.30am the rand was at 15,7312 against the dollar from 15,6371 previously. Against the euro the rand was at 16,9126 from 16,8102. The local unit was trading at 23,0635 against the pound from 22,9480. The euro was unchanged against the dollar at $1,0751.

The Fed ended months of speculation on December 16 when it announced plans to raise short-term interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point, bringing an end to seven years of near-zero rates, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Markets and economists had widely predicted the move but are now eager for clues about what happens next.

In December, Fed officials emphasised they planned to raise interest rates in a “gradual” manner, so markets today would be watching for what the central bank means by “gradual”, the newswires said.

Meanwhile, Barclays Research said global risk aversion — spurred on by tension in the Middle East — was keeping the rand on the back foot. — BDLive.

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