Reserve Bank cutting cycle may be ending, say analysts as rand strengthens

Interest-rate reduction of half a percentage point was not unanimous, with two of the five members of the monetary policy committee voting for less.

The Reserve Bank, which cut interest rates to a record low to support an economy battered by the Covid-19 outbreak, signalled its aggressive rate-cutting cycle could be petering out, helping to push the rand to its strongest level since SA entered its national lockdown.

The Bank, which had reduced the repo rate by a full percentage point in each of its meetings in March and April, reduced the repo rate by 50 basis points on Thursday as predicted in surveys by Reuters and Bloomberg. The call on the magnitude of the cut, which took the benchmark rate to a record low of 3.75%, was not unanimous, with two out of five members of the monetary policy committee (MPC) voting for a reduction of 25 basis points.

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