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#RandReport: Rand firms, rate decision in focus

At 1440 GMT the rand was trading 0,3 percent stronger at 12,3525 to the dollar.

The South African Reserve Bank has kept lending rates unchanged at 5,75 percent since July 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand hit a two-week high against the US dollar on Friday but failed to break below a key level of 12,3000/dollar with investors wary ahead of a local interest rate decision next week.

At 1440 GMT the rand was trading 0,3 percent stronger at 12,3525 to the dollar compared with its New York closing level on Thursday.

The currency was trading at its strongest levels since 3 July, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"After the state of nervous expectation going into the last two weekends, the situation in Greece has reached a conclusion, and the Janet Yellen testimony is out of the way, local focus now turning to the [interest rate decision] next week," Nedbank analysts said in a note to clients.

"The rand has thus far failed to breach below 12,3000, but conversely it has also made limited forays to the upside."

Thirty-two economists polled by Reuters in the past week were split almost evenly, with 17 predicting an increase and the rest saying the Bank would keep rates on hold at its policy meeting beginning on Tuesday.

The SARB has kept lending rates unchanged at 5,75 percent since July 2014.

In fixed income, the yield for the 2026 benchmark was down 1,5 basis points to 8,055 percent.