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Rand edges firmer ahead of manufacturing data

Manufacturing data for January due at 1100 GMT is expected to show the sector expanded 2.5% year on year.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s rand edged firmer on Tuesday, continuing to eke out gains in subdued trade as optimism over the domestic economy and short-buying ahead of inflation numbers in the United States spurred demand.

  • At 0640 GMT, the rand was 0.06% firmer at 11.8050 per dollar, compared with a close of 11.8225 overnight in New York.

  • While the rand benefited from a global recovery in risk assets after last week’s sell-off, triggered by figures showing rising US wages, confidence in the local economy continued to draw buyers.

  • Manufacturing data for January due at 1100 GMT is expected to show the sector expanded 2.5% year on year. Last Tuesday gross domestic product grew by more than expected, by 3.1% quarter on quarter.

  • Inflation figures from the United States due later in the session could wobble the rand’s approach toward 11.50 mark seen as a target for bullish bets on the currency.

  • Stocks were set to open slightly lower at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index down 0.15%.

  • In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was up 1 basis point at 8.075%.

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