Rand Report: South African economy strengthens with gold surge Image: Supplied

Rand Report: Rand and gold surge boost South African economy

The Rand’s strength was fueled by rising gold prices, a weaker US Dollar, and slight improvements in the South African economy.


Rand Report: South African economy strengthens with gold surge Image: Supplied

This past week, the South African Rand demonstrated notable strength, achieving levels not seen since mid-February. The Rand’s robust performance was primarily fueled by a significant rise in gold prices and a weakening US Dollar. Additionally, they were slight improvements in the South African economy.

Positive economic indicators propel Rand’s upward trajectory

Rand Graph: Supplied

The week began on a positive note for the Rand, as it surpassed the R24.02 mark against the British Pound (GBP) on Monday. This upward trajectory was supported by a slight increase in the PMI figure, rising to 50 from the previous 49.2. Moreover, there was a growth in the GDP at 0.1%, improving from the previous quarter’s -0.2%. Despite challenges such as continued load shedding and external economic pressures, these developments are indicative that the South African economy remains resilient.

Gold’s role in bolstering the Rand throughout the week

Gold’s strong performance further bolstered the Rand throughout the week, with the metal surpassing the 2,150 psychological threshold. This surge is attributed to ongoing geopolitical tensions, including conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza. Additionally, anticipation of rate cuts by the US and European Central Banks has heightened gold’s appeal as a safer investment option.

US Dollar weakness and Powell’s testimony

US Dollar weakness also played a significant role in the Rand’s performance over the week. Testimony by Jerome Powell before the US Senate emphasized the Federal Reserve’s ongoing narrative of decreasing inflation and the possibility of rate reductions later in the year. Despite this, a surprisingly high nonfarm payroll figure of 275,000 — much higher than anticipated — suggests the Federal Reserve may approach future rate cuts with added caution.

Looking ahead, the strength of gold prices is expected to continue, potentially leading to improved gold and mining production figures for South Africa. The US Dollar’s weakness may slightly abate as inflation and retail sales figures are released on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Additionally, the UK’s unemployment figures, set to be released early in the week, are likely to introduce some volatility into the markets.

Upcoming market events

Tuesday, 12 March 

  • GBP: Unemployment rate 
  • USD: Inflation data 

Wednesday, 13 March

  • GBP: GDP data 

Thursday, 14 March 

  • ZAR: Gold production data 
  • ZAR: Mining production data 
  • USD: Producer price index (PPI) 
  • USD: Retail sales

Friday, 15 March 

  • USD: Industrial production data 
  • USD: Manufacturing data 

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