The market favoured high-yielding, risker currencies at the start of the week, as manufacturing data released from China early Monday came in above forecast. This has a significant impact on the Australian dollar, as the world’s second largest economy is the primary destination of commodities shipped out of Australia.
The South African rand also took strength from the Chinese figures, with the highly volatile asset particularly susceptible to market conditions. The currency was further supported by confirmation from the country’s AMC union that the six-month platinum production strike was finally over, ending the longest work stoppage in the country’s history. Platinum is one of the country’s major exports, and with the economy so commodity-reliant, cutting out the production of platinum has had a marked impact on the economy. Yesterday saw the Russian rouble continue with Wednesday’s strength, and the New Zealand dollar climbed to near record-highs against the US dollar.
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