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Rand recovers, focus on global events

The rand fell to a year low of R13.2875/dollar on Friday in an emerging markets sell-off as global investors dumped riskier assets.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand firmed in early trade on Monday, recovering some of the losses from last week, as the dollar softened ahead of central bank policy meetings and the US-North Korea summit this week.

At 0637 GMT, the rand traded at R13.0125 per dollar, 0.5% firmer than its close on Friday.

The rand fell to a year low of R13.2875/dollar on Friday in an emerging markets sell-off as global investors dumped riskier assets.

The US Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) starts its two-day meeting on Tuesday, where it is anticipated to raise US interest rates. The European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of Japan’s policy meetings are also due this week.

“The sell-off in EM is likely to continue this week if the Fed hikes and signals an aggressive path and the ECB announces that its bond buying programme will end sooner than the market expects,” Rand Merchant Bank analyst Isaah Mhlanga wrote in a note.

Markets are also keeping a close eye on the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was down 1.5 basis points to 8.955%, reflecting firmer prices.

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