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Rand firms slightly on dollar wobble

Traders have warned of volatile trade in the rand this week, with the rally in US assets set to continue while risk appetite remains fragile.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand firmed early on Friday, clawing back some ground after plunging in a broad emerging market slide the previous day, with some end-of-week positioning and a dollar wobble on trade fears helping to lift the unit.

At 0645 GMT the rand was 0.26% firmer at R12.5600 per dollar compared to a close of R12.5925 overnight in New York.

Traders have warned of volatile trade in the rand this week, albeit in a narrow range between R12.40 and R12.80 and with risks to the upside, with the rally in US assets set to continue while risk appetite remains fragile.

“Despite some resilience over the most recent sessions, the rand ultimately remains vulnerable as a result of various global and local factors,” said Nedbank senior analyst Reezwana Sumad in a note.

The greenback has pummelled all contenders this week, while US Treasuries have also soared on bets of higher lending rates there as well as signs of improved economic growth.

In early trade on Friday however the dollar was down 0.05%.

On Thursday China offered US President Donald Trump a package of trade concessions and increased purchases of American goods to prevent a trade war, however there remained scepticism whether Trump would accept the offer.

Bonds were slightly firmer, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 paper down 1.5 basis points to 8.495%.

Stocks were due to open firmer at 0700 GMT, with the Top-40 futures index up 0.22%.

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