Rand slips on Eskom power woes

THE rand was slightly weaker on Thursday morning after electricity provider Eskom declared it fourth power emergency for this year‚ renewing concerns around potential disruptions to economic growth in 2014.

The state power utility asked key industrial customers to reduce their power usage by 10%‚ due to tight supply and technical problems experienced at some of its power stations following heavy rains in the past few days.

Residential users were also asked to reduce their electricity consumption to prevent the need for rotational load-shedding.

ETM Analytics market analyst Sean McCalgan said news of potential load-shedding was not rand positive and would probably see economic growth concerns flair up again.

The Reserve Bank expects the local economy to grow by 2.8% this year.

At 9.55am‚ the rand was at R10.7022 to the dollar from Wednesday’s close of R10.6707. The local unit earlier firmed as far as R10.65/$‚ due to technical support that enticed some buying interest‚ Mr McCalgan said.

Against the euro‚ the rand was at R14.6943 from its previous close of R14.6510 and was at R17.8830 to the pound from R17.8268 on Wednesday.

The euro was at $1.3732 from $1.3732 at its overnight close. © BDlive 2014


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