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Rand stronger before US Fed meeting

The rand strengthened against the dollar in early trade, as investors waited cautiously for a US Federal Reserve interest rate decision later on Wednesday.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand strengthened against the dollar in early trade, as investors waited cautiously for a US Federal Reserve interest rate decision later on Wednesday.

By 0649 GMT, the rand was 0.45% stronger at R12.5950 per dollar compared to a close of R12.6525 on Tuesday in New York.

The US Federal Reserve is holding its policy meeting ending on Wednesday and will decide whether to hold or hike interest rates.

“The markets anticipate a hawkish Fed, driving gold prices and emerging markets lower,” Peregrine analysts said in a note.

As central banks in some advanced economies move away from the era of historically low interest rates, emerging markets that have wide current account deficits to fund are expected to be hit the hardest as the supply of liquidity tightens globally.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond was up 6 basis points to 8.25%.

Stocks were set to open lower at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index down 0.25%.