Rand on slippery slope as metal prices weaken

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The rand was relatively steady on Friday morning‚ but headed for its worst weekly performance against the dollar since early April‚ which was marred by President Jacob Zuma’s controversial Cabinet reshuffle.

The sharp declines in commodity prices are partly responsible for the latest bout of volatility in the rand‚ which Momentum Investments expects to persist in the lead-up to the ANC’s elective conference in December.

The platinum price stabilised at multi-month lows of $905/oz in early trade‚ having declined a hefty 4% this week.

Other precious and industrial metals have also fallen sharply as supply concerns creep back into the market.

“The general rand weakness continued almost unabated yesterday as commodity prices took their toll on those currencies which have a strong fundamental association to them‚” Standard Bank trader Warrick Butler said in a note.

The weaker rand came despite a weaker dollar‚ making the local currency vulnerable to further weakness if the US non-farm payroll data due out in the afternoon beat market forecasts.

The US economy is expected to have created 175‚000 jobs in April‚ according to Trading Economics‚ up from 98‚000 in March.

At 9.21am the rand was at R13.6414 to the dollar from Thursday’s R13.6429‚ at R14.9659 to the euro from R14.9800 and at R17.6466 to pound from R17.6305.

The euro was at $1.0972 from $1.0984. -TMG Digital/BusinessLIVE

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