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Rand steady as Fed cut bets fade

At 1505 GMT the rand was trading at 14.1525 per dollar, not far off its close of 14.1800 on Friday.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand steadied against a firmer dollar in afternoon trade on Monday, after last week’s strong US jobs data lowered expectations of a sharp Federal Reserve interest rate cut.

Stocks closed slightly higher.

At 1505 GMT the rand was trading at 14.1525 per dollar, not far off its close of 14.1800 on Friday.

“With the economic calendar in South Africa relatively light this week, the rand is positioned to be influenced by outside forces in the form of trade developments, Fed rate cut speculation and the dollar’s valuation,” Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, said in a note.

“Should speculation of a US interest rate cut diminish further on improving fundamentals in the United States, Dollar bulls could make an uninvited return - ultimately punishing the Rand and other emerging market currencies.”

South African-focused investors are this week waiting for mining and manufacturing data for the month of May for clues on the health of the economy after GDP contracted in the first quarter.

On the stock market, the Top-40 index closed 0.21% higher while the broader all-share was up 0.25%.

Shares in Impala Platinum rose more than 3% after the mining firm said it expected to swing back to annual profit, thanks to an improved platinum metals’ basket price and higher sales volumes.

Shares in retailer Steinhoff fell 3.10% after it said its chief financial officer would step down.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 dipped by 5 basis points to 8.12%.

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