JOHANNESBURG – The rand steadied against the dollar early on Wednesday as traders awaited the outcome of Thursday’s European Central Bank policy meeting, which may set the tone for currency markets.
At 0700 GMT, the rand traded at 13.6875 per dollar, not far off its New York close of 13.6725 on Tuesday.
There are expectations that the ECB will change the terms of its asset-buying programme to alleviate a shortage of bonds and extend the stimulus beyond its current end date in March 2017.
“All focus is on the ECB: the more they ease the better for the rand, notably on EUR/ZAR,” Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns said.
On the stock market, the Top-40 index was up 0.8% while the broader all-share rose 0.49% in early trade.
In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 dipped 3.5 basis points to 8.91%.