Despite unresolved and ongoing labour concerns in South Africa, investors appear to have been comforted by the smooth general election process in the country, seeing the rand reach its strongest level against the dollar this year.

Further comfort was provided by comments by US Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday signalling that US interest rates were unlikely to start ticking up before the middle of next year, with investors also welcoming positive trade data out of China yesterday.

Investec Asset Management’s head of emerging market dealing, Ryan Wibberley has said that positive global developments were underscored by solid local elections and that foreign investors were particularly pleased by the stability of the election process and the predictability of the results.

“The way the results are panning out, with the ANC’s percentage of the national vote in the low 60s and the DA in the low 20s, was the foreseen result. If there had been any surprises or questions over the fairness of the process, foreigners would have voted with their feet,” he observed.

The official election results are expected on May 10, with clarity on economic policy orientation probably due later this month.

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