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Rand flat as investors weigh local, global risks

Bonds slightly weaker.

The rand was flat early on Monday, holding on to its brief recovery from last week as traders and investors continued to weigh heightened global growth risks against local uncertainty.

At 0740 GMT the rand was 0.1% weaker at 15.30 per dollar versus a close of 15.29 on Friday in New York, treading water as risk aversion linked to fears of slowing global growth and a crisis in Argentina lured investors to safe-haven assets.

The rand has fallen more than 6% since the beginning of August, pressured by the rising likelihood of a credit ratings downgrade by Moody’s linked to a massive, additional bailout for state power firm Eskom and signs of slower global growth.

The inversion of the US Treasury bond yield curve – widely viewed as a sign of looming global recession – for the first time since 2007, also put pressure on the rand last week, but by Thursday some short-covering had seen it pullback from 11-month lows.

Traders said the rand is likely to remain in a narrow range ahead of Wednesday’s release of local consumer price inflation for July, with the rand’s attraction as a carry yield target the key focus.

Bonds were a touch weaker, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 adding 0.5 basis points to 8.39%. 

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