The trade conflict has been one of a number of negative factors that has dragged oil lower over the last couple of months, and even now it is trading around 30% off its peak, said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam.
At 2pm the rand was 0.49% firmer against the dollar at R13.6724, 0.67% against the euro at R15.4931 and 0.85% against the pound at R17.3905. The euro was 0.17% weaker at $1.1333.
Earlier, local news was somewhat positive, with the Absa purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for November climbing to 49.5 index points in November, from a depressed reading of 42.4 in October.
Operating conditions for the manufacturing sector looked set, however, to remain challenging, said Investec economist Kamilla Kaplan.