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Rand strengthens on strike news

The local currency rallied to 10,5575 to the dollar, its strongest since 9 June.

The local currency rallied to 10,5575 to the dollar, its strongest since 9 June. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's rand rallied against the dollar after a crippling five-month strike in the platinum mines ended on Monday, taking the currency to its strongest in two weeks.

The rand was adding to earlier gains as commodity-linked currencies took heart at positive factory data from China, a major South African export destination.

Initially unmoved during a two-hour speech by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) leader Joseph Mathunjwa, the rand gained sharply to nearly 1 percent against the dollar after thousands of striking miners roared their approval of wage deals with platinum firms.

The local unit, previously under pressure from a work stoppage that caused the economy to contract in the first quarter, rallied to 10,5575 to the dollar, its strongest since 9 June.

"With dollar/rand 10,5520 support from the 9 June low under pressure on Monday afternoon, there is scope to test the 10,5050 29 May high as sentiments are likely to improve in the short term on the back of the wage deal," said Anisha Arora, emerging market analyst at 4Cast.

Amcu said the wage deals would be signed on Tuesday and workers would start reporting for duty from Wednesday.

Government bond yields held at the mornings levels, dropping 3 basis points to 8,315 percent on the benchmark 2026 issue and falling 3,5 basis points to 6,635 percent on the 2015 note.