JOHANNESBURG – The rand has lost more than 3% against the dollar today as the shock election of businessman Donald Trump as US president fades and drives investors back into developed markets.
Stocks are also stronger, riding on the coat tails of the firmer greenback and higher commodity prices.
Just after 3pm, the rand had weakened to 13.88 cents to the dollar, erasing gains from earlier on in the session in the wake of Trump’s unexpected victory over Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, world leaders offered to work with Trump when he takes over as US president, but expressed anxiety over how he will handle problems from the Middle East to an assertive Russia and whether he will carry out a number of campaign threats.
Several authoritarian and right-wing leaders hailed the billionaire businessman and former TV show host on his election victory.
China, a target of Trump’s ire during his campaign, appealed for cooperation. Mexico also struck a conciliatory tone, despite Trump’s insults to Mexican migrants and pledges to build a wall to separate the two countries. South Korea urged him not to change policy on North Korea’s nuclear tests.
Trump, who has no previous political or military experience, said after defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton that he would seek common ground, not conflict, with the United States’ allies.
In the election campaign, he voiced admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, questioned central tenets of the NATO military alliance and suggested Japan and South Korea should develop nuclear weapons to shoulder their own defense burden.
Putin was among the first to send Trump congratulations.
Ties between Washington and Moscow have become strained over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and allegations of Russian cyber-attacks featured in the election campaign.