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Rand weakens on China manufacturing slip

The rand has see-sawed in a narrow range, with little momentum in either direction, as investors wait for a US Fed policy meeting on Wednesday which is expected to keep lending rates unchanged.

South African rand.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand weakened on Tuesday as an unexpected slowdown in Chinese factory activity dented demand for risk assets, with investors increasingly cautious before local trade and budget data.

At 0640 GMT the rand was 0.1% weaker at R14.3550 per dollar from an overnight close of R14.3400.

The rand has see-sawed in a narrow range, with little momentum in either direction, as investors wait for a US Fed policy meeting on Wednesday which is expected to keep lending rates unchanged.

Locally, a Reuters poll of analysts forecast that March trade data, due at 1200 GMT, would show a R4.8 billion surplus. The Treasury is also due to publish monthly budget figures.

Traders expect liquidity to be tight with local markets closed for the Worker’s Day holiday before picking up in the run-up to national elections on 8 May.

Bonds also weakened, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year paper up 1 basis point to 8.545%.

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