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Rand strengthens slightly ahead of US growth data

The rand strengthened slightly against the dollar on Friday with other emerging markets, but its gains were capped by a strong dollar ahead of US growth data.

South African rand.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand strengthened slightly against the dollar on Friday with other emerging markets, but its gains were capped by a strong dollar ahead of US growth data.

At 0655 GMT the rand was 0.42% stronger at R14.3800 per dollar compared with an overnight close of R14.4400.

“In tandem with emerging market currencies, the rand struggled to gain traction against a strong greenback as the trade-weighted US dollar continued to benefit from positive data releases,” said NKC African Economics in a morning note.

The currency market’s focus is now on the US GDP data, which could reinforce bullishness about the world’s top economy after a slew of numbers this week pointed at an improved outlook.

NKC African Economics said it expects the rand to trade between R14.25 and R14.50 rand to the dollar.

South African-focused investors will look to any election news ahead of parliamentary and provincial polls on 8 May.

In fixed income, bonds also weakened the yield on the benchmark 10-year issue was up 1 basis points to 8.600%.

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