Johannesburg — South Africa’s rand edged higher in early trade on Wednesday, ahead of the release of local inflation data and highly anticipated interest rate decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
At 0645 GMT, the risk-sensitive rand traded at 18.5000 against the dollar, 0.32% stronger than its previous close.
South African markets were closed on Tuesday on account of a public holiday.
Local investors will be looking at February inflation figures (ZACPIY=ECI) due at 0800 GMT by Statistics South Africa for clues on the health of the economy.
Market focus will also be on the Fed’s policy meeting, which will end later in the day, with investors awaiting clarity on the path the U.S. central bank could take in the wake of a global banking turmoil.
Markets are currently pricing in a 25-basis-point hike.
“Risk-sensitive currencies have all come under pressure due to the prospect of higher rates in the US and the strain on the global banking system,” said Andre Cilliers, currency strategist at TreasuryONE.
The government’s benchmark 2030 bond was weaker in early deals, with the yield up 5 basis points to 9.980%.
*Bhargav Acharya; Editing: Sherry Jacob-Phillips – Reuters