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Rand firms before retail sales data

Stocks set to open flat, with the Top-40 index unchanged.

South Africa’s rand firmed early on Wednesday, supported by a steady gold price after US President Donald Trump said tougher measures were needed against North Korea.

At 0630 GMT the rand gained 0.2% to 12.98, a day after sinking to its softest in a week as traders upped bets on further falls.

The currency remains vulnerable to technical selling, traders said, with repeated breaches of the 13.00 mark against the dollar spurring sellers ahead of an expected interest rate cut next week.

Statistics South Africa publishes July retail sales at 1100 GMT.

Stocks were set to open flat at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index unchanged.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government due in 2026 fell 1.5 basis points to 8.44%. 

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