South Africa’s rand was flat against the dollar on Wednesday as investors kept a cautious stance ahead of the Finance Minister’s budget speech, U.S. economic data and an interest rate decision by the Federal Reserve.
Rand was at 14.6300 versus the greenback, as of 0505 GMT, 0.01% lower compared with previous session’s close.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, who will deliver his medium-term budget policy statement at 1200 GMT on Wednesday, is expected to reveal a wider government deficit and higher debt.
Globally, expectations of further U.S. monetary policy loosening also emboldened investors, with a reduction of 0.25 percentage points at the conclusion of the Fed’s two-day meeting later on Wednesday almost seen as a done deal.
However, that sentiment was countered by worries that a Sino-U.S. first-stage trade deal could be delayed, prompting a slip in shares in Asian markets.
“Brace yourselves, we are in for a volatile day,” Peregrine Treasury Solutions said in a note, adding when it comes to the rand most of the attention will be on Mboweni’s speech.
Government bonds were slightly weaker, with the yield on benchmark 2026 instrument inching up 1 basis points to 8.21% percent.