Friday 23 March 2018

South Africa's rand firmer as dollar woes continue

South Africa's rand firmer as dollar woes continue
(Reuters 01/03/18)
South African bank notes featuring images of former South African President Nelson Mandela (R) are displayed next to the American dollar notes in this photo illustration in Johannesburg August 13 2014.

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand was firmer on the first trading day of 2018, buoyed by improved sentiment for emerging currencies and a sluggish dollar.

At 0645 GMT, the rand was 0.24 percent firmer at 12.3500 per dollar, slightly changed from its 2-1/2-year high of 12.2400.

The currency advanced by about 13 percent in 2017, making most of those gains after Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president Jacob Zuma’s successor as head of the African National Congress (ANC) last Monday.

The dollar was near a three-month low versus a basket of major currencies in early trade.

Bonds were flat with the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 at 8.605 percent.

Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.47 percent.

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