Rand takes a beating against the dollar, pound

Rand takes a beating against the dollar, pound


JOHANNESBURG – The rand has broken through the R16 to the dollar barrier and R22 to the pound.
At 6.30pm, it was hovering around R16,7 cents to the dollar and R22,30 to the pound. 

The local currency had been trading at around R15,30 to the dollar prior to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Budget speech on Wednesday.

It then lost around 40 cents to the US currency.

Some economists cited his speech as doing enough to stop the country from being downgraded to junk status, while others say there aren’t enough measures to curb state spending.

The higher exchange rates are bad news for inflation, with emerging market currencies continuing to battle against the dollar.

The pound has come under pressure due to the proposed exit from the EU and it was hoped that the rand would capitalise on this.

However, the local currency appears to be battling, with economists hoping that the gains of the past few weeks will simply not be lost in the long term. 
(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)