December 05, 2023

Currency News

MyCURRENCY News | Week 49 2023

MyCURRENCY News | Week 49 2023

What we know

To call the USDZAR’s most recent price action ‘range bound’ feels a little bit generous as that usually implies a somewhat tight trading channel. Last week saw us open at R18.65/USD, then run to a low of R18.45/USD before reversing back up to a high of R18.97/USD – a ±50 cent spread during the course of a week. We have been in this range for the past two weeks with us now sitting a little closer to the previous high than we would perhaps prefer – currently R18.85/USD.

Domestically, there has been some respite as loadshedding has retraced to more palatable levels – the sting of stage 6 does still linger as we know that at any moment ‘wet coal’ could send us spiralling once more into darkness. 

We also have our own GDP numbers today and expectations were for us to have contracted by 0.2% YoY, but we have unfortunately come in worse at -0.7%. The QoQ data tells a similar story with us having contracted by 0.2% following two positive prints. Both are a likely symptom of our continued energy security issues, export woes caused by the backlogs in our ports as well as an unwinding of commodity prices over the past two quarters (excepting gold +4.25%) – palladium and platinum have come undone by 31% and 9% respectively. 

What others say

Daily MaverickHow real is Roger Jardine as SA opposition’s next big hope?

“There’s been much speculation that the Multi-Party Charter is looking for a single presidential candidate — and that person could be the former FirstRand chair Roger Jardine. While this will encourage those who believe a grand coalition is needed to unseat the ANC, most of the Multi-Party Charter’s problems will remain.”

BloombergChina seen targeting ambitious 2024 growth goal at key meetings

“An “upbeat” growth goal of 4.5% or higher would help “guide expectations and boost confidence,” according to economists at Morgan Stanley. Targeting a rate that high would mean a “visible acceleration” in growth given the two-year compound annual growth rate in 2023 is estimated to be just around 4%, they wrote in a report last month.”

Visual CapitalistThe rise of the U.S. Dollar since the 19th century

“As the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. dollar made up 58.4% of foreign reserves held by central banks in 2022, falling near 25-year lows. Today, emerging countries are slowly decoupling from the greenback, with foreign reserves shifting to currencies like the Chinese yuan.”

What we think

Last week we said that “the Fed minutes triggered the move weaker.  Thereafter, in the face of our inflation figures and increased loadshedding, sentiment continued to slide further as the week progressed. Now that we have surpassed previous swing highs at R18.80/USD and remain above the R18.70/USD support level, the possibility remains of drifting towards the R19.00/USD level”.

This week has spattering’s of news from the international market, though this week culminates with the biggest of them all – the Non Farm Payroll (NFP). This will, alongside the US Fed interest rate decision on Wednesday next week, be one of the last big data events of the year as the world winds down for the festive period. The market is expecting a small increase from 150K to 180K jobs added for the month as the market mulls over the most recent estimates that there are no more rate hikes expected out of the US Fed.

The Dollar Index (DXY) has bounced off 4-month lows at 102.50 and is now trading at 103.68. Should the DXY continue to appreciate to the previous resistance level of 104.50 and the USDZAR were to move in lockstep with the DXY, that would see us move to just shy of R19/USD. Sentiment wise, the ante seems to be upping as we near 2024 and the election campaigns start to spin up. The international market has generally been unperturbed by our local political shenanigans, though there seems to be a little more interest seeing as this is a national election, perhaps too in that the international market may see this as a pivotal event – though, this may be misplaced optimism. Only time will tell.

However the week ahead is likely to see us trade in the upper R18’s, at least until Friday where the biggest shock is likely to come from the US NFP numbers. 

Our range for the week: R18.60/USD – R19.00/USD.

Have a great week ahead.