Rand Report - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and the budget speech

Tito Mboweni, a former South African Reserve Bank (SARB) governor has been sworn in as South Africa's new finance minister.

Nhlanhla Nene is now the former South African Finance Minister (once again), after president Cyril Ramaphosa accepted Mr Nene’s decision to resign. Tito Mboweni, a former South African Reserve Bank (SARB) governor has now been sworn in as new finance minister.

Nhlanhla Nene’s resignation follows recent inquiries into state capture which revealed the former finance minister to have met with the controversial Gupta family (who are at the centre of state capture investigations) on multiple occasions, despite having told media previously that he had not. It is also been alleged that Mr Nene had breached the “code of ethics” while with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), a matter which is to be investigated by the Public Protector. This is the second time that Mr Nene has failed to complete his full term as Finance Minister.

Tito Mboweni is a former Reserve Bank Governor and Labour Minister in South Africa, as well as an international advisor to Goldman Sachs international and non-executive director for South Africa at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa) development bank.

The Rand Approves

The short term reaction to the change of guard, in terms of finance ministers, was one of approval by the rand which gained roughly 30c against the Euro and 20c against the dollar and British Pound, shortly after the news. The initial impression for the currency move, is that weakening into the event came from speculation that Nhlanhla Nene was to step down and the uncertainty around who his replacement would be. The rand strength which accompanied the Tito Mboweni appointment is suggestive of markets trusting the experienced businessman/finance person who will be looking after the states purse.

The Medium Term Budget Speech

In just two weeks’ time (24 October 2018), the new Finance Minister will deliver the Mid-Term Budget Speech. Mr Mboweni will need to stick to the knitting in terms of managing expenditure ceilings and reducing the deficit targets within the budget, whilst trying to revive economic growth within the country. The wiggle room for drastic economic change would appear very limited when considering only one rating agency (Moody’s) has maintained South Africa’s investment grade rating and will be keeping a watchful eye on the budget.

The Rand (USD/ZAR) – Technical View

USDZAR Technical view 10102018

The USD/ZAR broke out of the flag formation highlighted in our previous note (below) and traded through our initial target of R15/$. The new Finance Minister appointment has seen the currency pair reversing off the R15/$ level and out of overbought territory. The short term strength favours a move back to the R14/$ mark. Should the USD/ZAR move below this level it could trigger the Head and Shoulders formation on the chart (labelled L, H and R?). If this scenario was to manifest it could suggest further strength for the rand (weakness for the dollar) and a longer term trend reversal. Should the price instead move to close above the R15/$ mark it would suggest the longer term uptrend to be resuming.

The Rand – Technical View (Previous Note)

USDZAR 101020182

The USD/ZAR currency pair broke below the R14.55/$ mark and traded directly to the R14/$ target suggested in our September 19th Rand report. The long term trend for the pair remains up, with the short term move down serving as the first pullback from a near term price high. This pullback is highlighted with the parallel blue lines and resembles a bullish flag formation (in Technical Analysis terms). The bullish flag formation is suggestive of a weak move down after an aggressive move up, alluding to the underlying momentum as remaining positive. These patterns are considered bullish continuation patterns as they have a habit of occurring before the preceding uptrend is continued.

With this in mind, traders of the pattern might look for a close above the upper resistance line at around R14.30/$ for long entry. Should this breakout scenario occur, R15/$ would be the initial upside target favoured, a break of which would further consider R15.70/$ as the next upside target. A close below trend line support at R13.75/$ would consider the failure of the bullish indications.

Aggressive traders might look for long entry into the USD/ZAR currency pair at current levels (R14.15/$), instead of waiting for the breakout scenario, although waiting for the breakout remains our preferred confirmation for the trade.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

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This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited and IG Markets South Africa Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. International accounts are offered by IG Markets Limited in the UK (FCA Number 195355), a juristic representative of IG Markets South Africa Limited (FSP No 41393). South African residents are required to obtain the necessary tax clearance certificates in line with their foreign investment allowance and may not use credit or debit cards to fund their international account.

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