The rand gained against the dollar on Monday, as investors watched for potential ripple effects of the aborted weekend mutiny in Russia. Lower levels of load shedding and expected higher generation capacity to the latter part of the year, due to an exemption on sulphur emission levels at Kusile, and the possibility of Mr. Putin visiting our sunny shores at almost zero have helped the rand move lower. It has, however, thus far failed to break the 18.55 mark!

Ukrainian forces can look to take advantage of the Wagner Group’s short-lived armed rebellion, analysts said, with confusion among Russia’s military leadership expected to considerably weaken their war effort. A weekend of mayhem has left observers of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine questioning what could happen next. The extraordinary 24-hour period posed what many regard as the greatest challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power in his more-than two decades of rule.

Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday, spurred by worries about political instability in Russia and possible supply disruptions, as well as U.S. demand hopes ahead of the summer driving season. Brent crude is currently US$74.70/bbl.

The Federal Reserve and other regulators look likely to push more stringent requirements for the nation’s biggest banks. Over the weekend, it became clear there would be a vocal opponent inside the central bank to any such changes. What’s new: Fed governor Michelle Bowman appointed by former President Trump in 2018 came out swinging on Sunday against tougher regulations being considered by colleagues on the board. Notably, Bowman also criticized the Fed’s own report on what led to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Sterling strengthened a touch against the dollar and euro on Monday as traders grappled with the implications of the previous week’s outsized rate hike by the Bank of England.

A high-ranking Chinese Communist Party official has visited Italy amid media reports saying that the European nation is considering a withdrawal from Beijing’s Belt and Road economic zone initiative. The Communist Party said Liu Jianchao, the head of the International Department of the party’s Central Committee, attended a meeting with businesspeople in Milan on Sunday. Italy is the only Group of Seven country to have signed a memorandum of understanding on the Belt and Road initiative.

The lira weakened as far as 26.05 against the U.S. currency, surpassing last week’s all-time low of 25.74. It trimmed its losses to 25.84 by 0945 GMT. It is down 28% so far this year, largely after the re-election in late May of President Tayyip Erdogan who has since moved to backtrack on his years of unorthodox economic policy including slashing rates despite soaring inflation. Two big steps were taken in recent days: the central bank under new Governor Hafize Gaye Erkan raised rates by 650 basis points to 15% on Thursday, a substantial tightening even though it fell short of market expectations.

The rand opens at 18.5650 this morning and we see support at 18.5310, 18.4210 and 18.3000. Resistance at 18.6515, 18.7615 and 18.8815. The crosses edged lower with EURZAR 20.28, GBPZAR 23.6450 and AUDZAR 12.4600.