South Africa’s rand scaled a 10-month high early on Wednesday, building on the previous session’s gains, as investors cheered data showing better-than-expected economic growth in the third quarter.
At 0630 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 14.9400 versus the dollar, 0.25% firmer than its previous close and at its highest since Feb. 17.
The rand has gained more than 7% against the U.S. currency since the start of November, supported by an uptick in global risk appetite that has largely outweighed investors’ worries about South Africa’s dire economic situation.
“The bull run in EM currencies continues as risk sentiment remains positive,” said Andre Botha, senior sealer at TreasuryONE, in a note.
“From a technical standpoint, the rand could now target 14.8500 and then 14.7000, however, the potential for a correction before we strengthen further remains.”
South Africa’s gross domestic product expanded by 66.1% in seasonally adjusted, annualised terms in the third quarter, compared with a revised 51.7% contraction in the second. focus now shifts to November consumer price inflation (CPI) and October retail sales data due later in the day.
The CPI data is expected to show a slight fall in inflation in November to 3.2% in annual terms, from 3.3% in the previous month.
Those modest readings are comfortable for the central bank, which has a target range of between 3% and 6%.
In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond ZAR2030= was down 0.5 basis point to 8.865% in early deals.