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Monday, 24 June 2024 13:28

Rand slips as investors await news on Ramaphosa's cabinet announcement.

By Tannur Anders.

Caution dominated the mood across emerging markets on Monday, ahead of local central bank policy decisions lined up through the week, while investors awaited cabinet appointments in South Africa and assessed the impact of latest sanctions on Russia.

In Africa, the rand slipped 0.7%, after trading flat for nearly three-straight sessions, while yield on the country's benchmark 2030 government bond climbed over 11 basis points to 9.8% as traders awaited the newly formed government of national unity's (GNU) cabinet appointments. The rand was trading at R18.14/$ just before noon on Monday. 

The rand advanced last week, breaking below R18/$ on Wednesday when Cyril Ramaphosa was inaugurated as president. It ended the week at R17.95/$ late on Friday, near its strongest levels in almost a year. 

Paul McNamara, investment director, at GAM Investments said that, with valuations cheaper than peers South African assets have potential to outperform from here.

However, "any new government will have very limited political capital for 'orthodox' policies... the plan and personnel are likely to be given a pass and concerns are about what can be realistically implemented."

The local currency and equity index have recovered from losses in early June, following national election results where the ANC lost parliamentary majority it held for three decades.

Elsewhere, the European Union agreed on a new package of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine, which included a ban on reloading Russian liquefied natural gas in the EU for further shipment to third countries. The rouble strengthened to 87.95 against the greenback, as per LSEG data.

Investors tracking the JPMorgan Emerging Market debt index are bullish on India and had allocated 3.6% of holdings to the country's bonds as on end-May, ahead of their inclusion on the index this week, Morgan Stanley said. Yield on the South Asian country's benchmark 10-year bond stood at 6.95%.

The World Bank announced a $700 million of budget support for Egypt, that is designed to help the north African country boost private sector participation, macroeconomic and fiscal resilience, and a greener growth trajectory. However, the pound weakened 0.7%.

Ghana's cedi was little changed after the west African country's government reached an agreement in principle with bondholder groups to restructure its international debt.