Rand Falls as Manufacturing Deteriorates

The South African rand declined today as nation’s factory output slowed and before President Jacob Zuma will address lawmakers in his speech in Cape Town today.
Manufacturing, which accounts for 15 percent of South Africa’s gross domestic product, rose 2.4 percent on an annual basis in December. That’s below the November reading of 2.8 percent and analysts’ forecast of 2.6 percent. Manufacturing output of Africa’s biggest economy was hurt by the crisis in Europe, one of the biggest nation’s trading partner.
South Africa’s President is scheduled to speak today’s evening. He is likely to attempt alleviate fears of nationalization, claiming that nationalization isn’t his agenda. Traders are nervous ahead of the speech and are reluctant to buy the rand.
USD/ZAR rose from 7.5460 to 7.5920 as of 20:27 GMT today. The currency pair reached the high of 7.6520 earlier, but retreated on the news that Greek politicians reached an agreement about measures necessary to get the bailout.

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