Rand softens after departure of pro-trade Trump official


The departure of US President Donald Trump’s pro-trade economic adviser, Gary Cohn, resulted in a return of risk-off sentiment in global markets on Wednesday morning, with the rand slightly softer against major global currencies.

This was despite general dollar weakness. Cohn’s departure after 14-months rattled international markets, coming as Trump vows to press ahead with import tariffs on steel and aluminium.

Cohn was well regarded by international markets, analysts said.

Pending any implementation of tariffs, global focus will shift to the start of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) monetary policy committee meeting on Thursday, while US nonfarm payrolls data is expected on Friday.

The ECB is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but should sound more optimistic on the economy, said Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking analysts.

At 9.30am, the rand was at R11.8188 to the dollar from R11.7812, R14.6734 to the euro from R14.6144, and at R16.4034 to the pound from R16.3636.

The euro was at $1.2416 from $1.2405. – BusinessLive


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