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South Africa’s rand steady, focus on global events

South Africa's rand steady, focus on global events

A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

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JOHANNESBURG, April 5 (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand was flat early on Tuesday, as prospects of more sanctions against Russia and possibly bigger interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve to rein in inflation supported the safe-haven dollar.

At 0630 GMT, the rand traded at around 14.5700 against the dollar, largely unchanged from its previous close.

The United States and Europe were planning new sanctions on Tuesday to punish Moscow over civilian killings in Ukraine, and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned more deaths were likely to be uncovered in areas seized from Russian invaders. read more

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The price of commodities such as gold and platinum, of which the country is an exporter, also eased on Tuesday, limiting any potential gains in the local currency. Higher commodity prices tend to support the rand.

Traders said global factors were the main focus, as the rand showed little reaction to news that South Africa’s national state of disaster, in place for more than two years in response to COVID-19, has ended. read more

The national state of disaster had been the government’s main mechanism for managing the pandemic. Removing it dealt away with the vast majority of COVID-19 restrictions, aside from a few that will remain in place on a transitional basis.

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Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

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