Rand stronger as ratings firms give SA room to breathe

The rand was trading at its strongest levels in four weeks following an announcement from Fitch ratings that the country would be safe from junk status until at least the end of the year.

The firm held the country’s credit rating at BBB-, one notch above junk, and kept the economic outlook at stable.

Before the rating announcement, the currency came within a hair of R15 to the dollar following a worse than expected GDP figure for the first quarter of 2016.

Stats SA announced that the country’s GDP growth¬†for the quarter sank significantly to -1.2%, pushing the rand to R14.98 against the dollar.

However, following Fitch’s announcement, the rand pulled back to R14.72.

Economists have warned that the country is not in the clear, though, saying that the downgrade risk into junk has not gone away and investors will still be cautious about getting into South African assets too quickly.

By 14h30, the rand was trading at R14.72 to the dollar, R21.46 to the pound and R16.76 to the euro.

More on the SA economy

Massive economic decline in South Africa as recession looms

Fitch spares South Africa from junk

Rand eyes R15 to the dollar as SA awaits Fitch rating, GDP data

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