Picture: GALLO IMAGES/FOTO24/LOANNA HOFFMAN
Picture: GALLO IMAGES/FOTO24/LOANNA HOFFMAN

THE rand retreated further against the dollar late on Monday as softer-than-expected Chinese economic data weighed on emerging-market currencies, including the rand.

China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), an official measure of activity in China’s vast factory sector, fell to its lowest since mid-2012, slipping to 49.4 in January from 49.7 in December. Market consensus forecast was for 49.6.

At 3.37pm the rand was at R16.0828 against the dollar from R15.8801 previously.

Against the euro, the rand was at R17.4913 from R17.2341 previously. It was at R22.9917 against the pound from R22.6791 previously.

The euro was at $1.0876 from $1.0832 previously.

Bidvest Bank said various PMI releases will give further indication of the strength of global growth after Chinese data releases earlier on Monday.

On Thursday, the Bank of England (BoE) will announce its decision on interest rates and will feature the UK’s latest inflation report and comments from Governor Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England.

In the US, payroll data for January will be released on Friday following a strong performance in the December, the bank said.

Overall, labour market tightening still appears in swing despite the global economic head winds and disappointing growth.

Meanwhile, weakness in the Japanese yen after the surprise move by the Bank of Japan to implement further stimulus by introducing negative deposit rates, was the primary impetus behind a 4% advance in the trade-weighted rand last week, the bank said.

The rand advanced 5.6% against the Japanese currency in the week ended January 29.

The rand also appreciated by more than 3% on the week against the euro, pound, yuan and US dollar, to trim its trade-weighted losses for the month to 1%.

Also underpinning the strong rand performance was the South African Reserve Bank’s decision to increase interest rates by 50 basis points to bring the benchmark repo rate to 6.75%, with some extra support likely also stemming from a less hawkish statement by the US Federal Reserve and a recovery in global stock markets, Bidvest Bank said.