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Rand firms on emerging markets rally

The rand was up 0.49% at R14.8225 per dollar at 0650 GMT, having closed in New York at R14.8950.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand strengthened against a softer dollar early on Wednesday as expectations that Beijing would implement stimulus to reduce the economic blow from the Sino-US trade war boosted investor appetite for emerging markets.

The rand was up 0.49% at R14.8225 per dollar at 0650 GMT, having closed in New York at R14.8950.

“Hopes that China could increase economic stimulus to soften the blow of the higher US tariffs also supported some emerging market currencies. The rand is expected to trade at R14.70 to R14.95 to the dollar on Wednesday,” NKC African Economics said in an early note.

China will levy tariffs on about $60 billion worth of US goods in retaliation for the latest round of US tariffs on Chinese products, as previously planned, but has reduced the level of tariffs it will collect on the products.

Markets were awaiting the release of August consumer inflation figures at 0800 GMT. Consensus expectations are for inflation to have risen to 5.2% on an annual basis, up from 5.1% in July.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was up 2 basis points at 9.190%.

Stocks opened higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.33%.