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South Africa’s rand tumbles to all-time low

Published on 24/08/2015

South Africa's rand plunged to an all-time low on Monday, breaching 14 to the dollar on the back of a global drop in commodity prices.

The currency of the continent’s most developed economy tumbled to 14.0682 against the greenback before midday, an 8.5 percent drop, before it pulled back to 13.33 by mid-afternoon.

The currency has been under sustained pressure lately and is one of the worst hit out of 25 emerging market peers as jittery investors dispose of high-risk assets in the wake of slowing economic growth in China.

“This is an emerging market risk event. Currencies of other emerging markets are under pressure too, but the volatility that we saw this morning was a bit overdone,” said Nedbank economist Isaac Matshego.

The rand is likely to remain under pressure as long as global factors are unfavourable, economists warn.

“What’s happening at the moment is basically due to world factors, very little to do with the domestic economy although domestic fundamentals are not supportive either,” said Matshego.

The currency movement is likely to push inflation up beyond the South Africa’s six percent target ceiling, as the country struggles with low growth and high unemployment.