USD/ZAR: Room for the South African Rand to play catch up with ongoing rally in EM FX – MUFG

Analysts at MUFG Bank see the USD/ZAR moving to the downside over the next days. They point out the South African Rand has failed to strengthen alongside other Emerging Market currencies on the back of building optimism over a dovish Federal Reserve policy pivot and China’s economy reopening more fully this year.

Key quotes:

“The ZAR has underperformed recently after USD/ZAR failed to break below support from the 200-day moving average in the middle of this month. It leaves the ZAR as one of the worst performing (-1.0% vs. USD) EM currencies so far this year.”

“Investor sentiment towards the ZAR has been hit recently by heightened concerns over the negative impact on growth in South Africa from worsening energy supply restrictions, and speculation that an amendment to the central bank’s mandate is imminent. While we acknowledge these domestic risks, we believe that the ZAR’s valuation now appears more attractive and offers room for catch up strength alongside the ongoing rebound in emerging market currencies.”

“The main downside risks in the week ahead would be if the Fed and other major central banks provide a hawkish policy shock that disrupts financial markets and lifts US yields and the USD.”

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