The South African Rand has tumbled against the US Dollar and fallen by more than 1% against the Pound as workers at South Africa’s biggest platinum mining company went on strike.
The strike which is being held in response to job cuts began early on Friday morning dragging down the Rand as investors already wary of labour unrest in Africa’s largest economy sought shelter in safe haven currencies. The strike is expected to last for 48 hours.
Anglo American Platinum has been hit hard by labour unrest over the past year and has posted an operating loss of 6.33 billion Rand. Adding to investor concern is the fact that workers and company officials are still in pay negotiations; already the country’s labour market has seen large disruptions over protests on worker wages.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) went ahead with their strike this morning, which has been negative for the Rand,” Iquad Group currency dealer Tony van Dyk said.
“This has added to the general risk aversion surrounding emerging-market currencies, which have battled against the dollar in the last few days,” he said.
The protesting miners said that they would call off the strike If the company would consider reversing its plans to slash 3,300 jobs.
Also weighing heavily upon the Rand and other emerging market currencies is the ongoing speculation over a possible tapering of the Federal Reserve’s monetary easing programme and concerns over the US budget. As long as the impasse lasts in the US Congress we can expect the Rand to soften further.
Current South African (ZAR) Exchange Rates
The US Dollar/South African Rand Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 10.1138
The Pound Sterling/South African Rand Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 16.2619
The Euro/South African Rand Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 13.6617
The Australian Dollar/South African Rand Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 9.4303
The New Zealand Dollar/South African Rand Exchange Rate is currently in the region of 8.3772
The Canadian Dollar/South African Rand Exchange Rate is currently trading in the region of 9.7933
(Correct as of 14:15 pm GMT)