Rand firms up after taking hit over Sarb row

At 0640 GMT, the rand traded at R13.5250 per dollar, 0.31% firmer than its overnight close, but still trading around its weakest levels in two months.

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JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's rand firmed against the US dollar in early trade on Wednesday as the currency struggles to recover from losses inspired by domestic policy uncertainties including a row over the central bank mandate.

At 0640 GMT, the rand traded at R13.5250 per dollar, 0.31% firmer than its overnight close, but still trading around its weakest levels in two months.

The rand could get technical support around the R13.6000/dollar level, where momentum indicators tracked by chartists show it would be entering oversold levels, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The rand had taken a hit after a South African watchdog recommended last month that the Reserve Bank mandate of price and currency stability be changed to focus on economic growth.

The proposal was challenged by the central bank, the Finance Minister and Parliament, leading to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to back down on her recommendation.

In the absence of scheduled local economic data releases in the session, focus is on global events including US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony.

Stocks were set to open flat at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange's Top-40 futures index largely unchanged.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 dipped 4.5 basis points to 8.86%.