South Africa’s rand firmed on Friday to trade below the psychological level of 16.00 to the dollar for the first time since January 7, buoyed by a central bank rate hike and improved global risk sentiment. On the equities market, stocks ended slightly higher with banks among the biggest gainers on views that the sector has strayed into an oversold territory.
The rand gained 1.85 percent to 15.9200 per dollar by 1556 GMT, breaching a barrier that traders say could help the currency firm further.
“It’s a combination of improved global risk sentiment and the currency also received an additional boost from the 50 basis point interest rate increase yesterday,” said ETM Analytics economist Jana van Deventer.
The South African Reserve Bank pushed up rates on Thursday in a bid to stem inflation after the rand fell by nearly 14 percent since December. — Reuters