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Rand gains, economy woes offset by weak dollar

The rand was trading 0,47 percent firmer at 11,9235 to the dollar compared with its closing level on Tuesday.

The rand held on to gains against the dollar on Wednesday despite a fall in domestic consumer confidence, as the greenback came under pressure from poor US trade data. Picture: Gadeeja Abbas/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand held on to gains against the dollar on Wednesday despite a fall in domestic consumer confidence, as the greenback came under pressure from poor US trade data.

At 1430 GMT the rand was trading 0,47 percent firmer at 11,9235 to the dollar compared with its closing level on Tuesday.

The currency briefly breached the key 12/$ mark after data showed South Africa's consumer confidence slumped in the first quarter of 2015, weighed down mainly by chronic power shortages that have blotted the economic outlook.

"The one number that might have slightly dented the rand is our consumer confidence which fell back into negative territory," said Cheslyn Francis, a portfolio manager at Afrifocus Securities.

"Foreigners are taking a wait and see approach instead of selling off right away," Francis added.

The dollar remained under pressure after data on Tuesday showed that the US trade deficit widened sharply in April, suggesting the economy probably shrank in the first quarter.

The index measuring the dollar against a basket of major currencies was down 1,2 percent at 93,936, retreating from a one-week high of 95,946.

In fixed income, the yield for the 2026 benchmark up 5 basis points to 8,14 percent.