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Rand edges lower ahead of manufacturing data

The currency advanced more than 1% against the US currency on Wednesday as concerns about rising coronavirus infections globally and in the United States prompted a selloff in the dollar as investors looked for yield in higher-risk emerging market assets.

South African rand. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand backtracked early on Thursday after gaining ground in the previous session as investors opted to take profits ahead of local manufacturing data expected to highlight the weakness of the real economy.

At 0700 GMT, the rand was 0.12% weaker at R16.9400 per dollar.

The currency advanced more than 1% against the US currency on Wednesday as concerns about rising coronavirus infections globally and in the United States prompted a selloff in the dollar as investors looked for yield in higher-risk emerging market assets.

But this demand subsided overnight with key data releases domestically, in Europe, and a weekly jobs report in the United States making investors more cautious.

Manufacturing production figures for April set to be published by Statistics South Africa at 1100 GMT are likely to show a deep contraction.

Bonds were flat in early trade, with the yield on the benchmark 2030 government issue up 0.5 basis points to 9.69%.

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