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US Dollar to Rand Currency Update: USD Ticks Up despite Caustic Trump Comments

Published: 23 Aug at 4 PM Tags: Dollar Exchange Rate, Currency Exchange, Rand Exchange Rate, Exchange Rates,

US Dollar Update: USD ZAR Rate Rises while Trump Pledges ‘Wall will be Built’

The US Dollar has advanced to an exchange rate of 13.2338 against the South African Rand today, although domestic data has only provided limited support.

On this front, US PMIs for August have shown higher overall activity for the composite reading, which rose from 54.7 points to 56.9.

Although services sector activity has also increased, the level of manufacturing activity unexpectedly declined, unsettling traders.

Outside of this core data, the other daily event for traders to focus on has been Donald Trump’s recent campaigning in Phoenix.

The President was characteristically brash in his approach, suggesting that he could abruptly pull the US out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Among other headline-grabbing announcements, Trump also insisted that he will get the Mexican border wall built, ‘[Even] if we have to close down our government’.

Tomorrow’s US Dollar-influencing news will consist of jobless claims stats for August, as well as the start of the Jackson Hole Symposium. Traders are primed for more initial jobless claims, but a slight slowdown in continuing counts.

With Jackson Hole, global central bankers including Fed policymakers will be travelling to the site to discuss monetary policy. If Fed officials hint at tighter policy in the future, then the US Dollar may gain further against the Rand.

South African Rand Declines on Alarming Poverty Report

Following the recent failed attempt to oust President Jacob Zuma from power, the Rand has more recently been damaged by a report on national poverty.

According to a Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) report, poverty has risen in the country since 2015.

Based on StatsSA’s figures, at least half the country is now in poverty, based on their criteria. This has been a damning indictment of government policy, which is considered by some to have grossly failed the population.

Reacting to the news was the Democratic Alliance (DA), an opposition party to the majority African National Congress (ANC);

‘There can surely be no greater indictment of any government’s performance than the number of people living in poverty actually rising on their watch. After all, the primary objective of being in government must be to improve the lives of the poor.

We reiterate our call for South Africans to be given the power to usher in the new beginning our country so urgently needs, by going to an early election. The power ought to be in the hands of the people, not politicians’.

There isn’t much high-impact ZA news out until August 30th, so the Rand may subject to any precious metal price fluctuations before then.