The Euro to South African Rand (EUR/ZAR) exchange rate was trading higher on Thursday as the Rand pared its losses against the US Dollar and as demand for riskier assets improved.
The Euro to South African Rand (EUR/ZAR) exchange rate was trading in the region of 12.961
Against the US Dollar the Rand rallied by more than 1% as traders deemed the ‘Greenbacks’ recent run of gains and the sharp selloff of emerging market assets as having been overdone.
The Rand advanced despite domestic data showing that mining production in the nation fell sharply on both a monthly and annual basis in January. Production fell by -4.7% on a yearly basis and fell by -5.4% on a monthly basis.
Manufacturing production was also shown to have fallen more than forecast with the sector showing a monthly decline of -1.5% and by -2.3% on a yearly basis.
Concerns over South Africa’s energy supplies has been a major drag on the nation’s economy and today the CEO of the nation’s largest utility provider Eskom was suspended.
Eskom, which provides virtually all the electricity in Africa’s most developed economy, is facing a funding crunch as it races to bring new power plants online and is implementing power cuts to prevent the grid from being overwhelmed.
The company’s chairperson Zola Tsoti also suspended three other senior executives in order to launch a probe into the running of the company. Rolling blackouts have become increasingly common in the country as the power grid strains under the weight of demand.
The Euro meanwhile moved higher against the Rand as it found support from inflation data out of Germany, which showed that consumer prices in the currency bloc’s largest economy returned to a positive last month.
Another report also showed that industrial production in the Eurozone improved strongly on an annual basis in the first month of the year.
Further gains for the Euro are likely to be limited, as economists remain jittery over the Greek situation. Relations between Greece and Germany continue to deteriorate as Greece lodged an official complaint against the German Finance Ministry after Wolfgang Schaeuble described Yanis Varoufakis as “foolishly naive” in his dealings with the media.
‘There was an official complaint from our ambassador in Berlin to the German Foreign Ministry on Tuesday night. It was a complaint after what he (Schaeuble) said about Mr Varoufakis. As a minister of a country that is our friend and our ally, he cannot personally insult a colleague,’ said the Greek foreign ministry.