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Rand firms on US-China trade deal optimism

The rand’s gains were linked to growing optimism that the world’s two largest economies will strike a deal to avoid an all-out confrontation that would severely disrupt global trade.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand firmed on Wednesday against a softer dollar as increased optimism that China and the United States will reach a trade deal boosted sentiment for riskier assets.

At 0700 GMT, the rand traded at R13.9100 versus the greenback, 0.5% firmer than its previous close.

The rand’s gains were linked to growing optimism that the world’s two largest economies will strike a deal to avoid an all-out confrontation that would severely disrupt global trade.

Officials of the US and China continued trade talks in Beijing for an unscheduled third day, amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of US farm and energy commodities as well as increased access to China’s markets.

The rand is expected to trade in a range of R13.80 to R14.00 to the dollar today, NKC African Economics said in a note.

South African government bonds also firmed, with the yield on the benchmark instrument maturing in 2026 down 2 basis points to 8.800%.

Stocks opened higher with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index up 1.18% to 46,652 points.

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