JOHANNESBURG. — The rand was little changed against major currencies shortly before midday yesterday, as caution prevailed ahead of key international events. Trade is expected to be muted until the statement by the European Central Bank this afternoon, with policy-makers unlikely to change interest rates but expected to maintain a hawkish tone, Nedbank analysts said. The outcome of the UK election, with early indications of a result expected at 9pm GMT when the first exit polls are released, will also be closely watched by markets.
Conservative Party leader and current Prime Minister Theresa May is still expected to win the election, but with a smaller margin than expected more than a month ago, Dow Jones Newswires said.
The results of the election will set the tone for the UK’s negotiated exit from the EU. The pound had strengthened against the euro at midday.
The rand was expected to be stable throughout yesterday after recent strength, “but the global mood in the market could be affected and we may see a risk-off environment, which is not favourable to the rand,” TreasuryOne dealer Gerard van der Westhuizen said.
Former FBI director James Comey was yesterday expected to testify as to whether US President Donald Trump sought to interfere in investigations at the agency. Market reaction to Comey’s prepared testimony indicated that the outcome of the hearing is unlikely to shock, the newswire said. At 11.31am, the rand was at 12,8398 to the dollar from Wednesday’s 12,8352, at 14,438 to the euro from 14,4613, and at 16,6253 to the pound from 16,6414. The euro was at $1,1244 from $1,1267. — BDLive.