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Rand falls as dollar hovers near 2-week high

On Tuesday, the dollar rose as unexpectedly strong data on US services industries and new home sales helped sooth some fears about the state of the world’s top economy.

South African rand. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand weakened against the dollar in early trade on Wednesday, as the greenback hovered near a two-week high buoyed by robust US economic data.

At 0612 GMT, the rand traded at R14.2200 per dollar, 0.34% weaker than its New York close of R14.1725 on Tuesday.

Markets were also a bit cautious over the Sino-US trade dispute and are awaiting developments in talks between the two major economies.

“The local unit has remained largely rangebound during the past few days, trading between R14.12 and R14.28 to the greenback with upbeat data from the US capping the rand’s buoyant momentum,” Bianca Botes, an analyst at Peregrine Treasury Solutions, said in a note.

“Markets are seeking some fresh developments in the US-China trade talks to provide solid directional guidance.”

On Tuesday, the dollar rose as unexpectedly strong data on US services industries and new home sales helped sooth some fears about the state of the world’s top economy.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major peers, gained for the fifth straight session overnight, hitting a two-week high of 97.008. It last traded at 96.93 on Wednesday.

Locally, the focus is on the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s monthly business confidence index due at 0930 GMT.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark instrument due in 2026 jumped 5 basis points to 8.715% in early trade.

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