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Rand slips as market awaits Moody's review

All but two of the 18 economists polled by Reuters this week said South Africa would avoid a credit rating downgrade by Moody’s, which rates the country one notch above junk.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand was slightly weaker early on Thursday as traders were cautious ahead of a credit rating review by international agency Moody’s scheduled for Friday.

At 0620 GMT, the rand traded at R11.8375 versus the dollar, 0.2% lower on the day.

All but two of the 18 economists polled by Reuters this week said South Africa would avoid a credit rating downgrade by Moody’s, which rates the country one notch above junk.

A cut to junk would see South Africa removed from Citi’s influential World Government Bond Index, triggering up to R100 billion ($8.45 billion) in selling by foreign investors.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said earlier this month that it was unclear whether Moody’s would cut the rating. Nene met senior Moody’s analysts in London and went through plans to cut spending and increase revenues.

Government bonds were little changed, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 instrument at 8.030%.