The Reserve Bank reduced the base rate by 0.5% in a move that was largely unexpected by markets and served to weaken the South African currency against the US dollar. The rand has been one of the strongest performing currencies this year, paring losses against its major currency partners on the back of commodity price hikes.

The recent strength of the rand however, has led to concerns that rising energy and inflation could undermine the country's recovery. Manufacturing and retail sales are both at extraordinarily low levels, falling -17% and -6.7% respectively.

The South African currency is currently trading at 13.31 to the pound and 8.04 to the US dollar.

The rates quoted above are interbank rates. Client rates may vary according to the volume and timing of the trade.