The rand rallied to its firmest in four months on Thursday, shrugging off mixed data after the country’s top court ordered the President Jacob Zuma to repay the state for some upgrades to his private home.
Stocks were weaker as some resource companies suffered. “The rand has outperformed pretty much everything today, gains which point to the politics,” said Rand Market Bank currency strategist John Cairns.
The currency opened on the front foot following a global rally of emerging assets, then raced to its firmest since the sacking of the finance minister in December, after the Constitutional Court said Zuma was liable for a portion of the R240 million ($16 million) spent on renovating the residence. By 1600 GMT the rand gained 1.5% to 14.7200 per dollar. Read more