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Rand slips as risk mood turns cautious

The rand weakened slightly early on Wednesday, reflecting an uptick in the dollar in relatively subdued trade as a resolution to the trade spat between the US and China remained in the balance.

South African rand.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand weakened slightly early on Wednesday, reflecting an uptick in the dollar in relatively subdued trade as a resolution to the trade spat between the US and China remained in the balance.

At 0650 GMT, the rand was 0.2% weaker at R14.7900 per dollar, a touch off an overnight close of R14.7600.

“This morning finds markets in a tentative risk-off mood as overnight developments cast a shadow over relations between China and the US,” said Andre Botha, a senior dealer at TreasuryONE.

The US Senate on Tuesday approved a raft of bills aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong, drawing a sharp rebuke from China, hitting hopes for a thaw in tensions between the two superpowers.

South Africa’s statistics agency publishes October inflation data at 0800 GMT, likely to show the price-growth remained low, bolstering bets the local central bank will keep rates on hold at its policy meeting on Thursday.

Bonds were firmer, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 down 3 basis points to 8.34%.

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