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Rand slips in early trade

Dollar also sluggish, bonds flat.

The rand weakened on Wednesday before domestic manufacturing and business confidence data as traders took profits on the currency’s recent rally and held positions before US employment figures later in the week.

At 0640 GMT, the rand was down 0.28% at 14.12 per dollar from a close of 14.08 overnight, retreating from a brief run towards the 14.05 resistance level in low volume trade marked mainly by offshore demand.

The dollar was also sluggish, slipping from two-week high as hopes faded for a quick trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

“The rand is really showing little sign that potentially strong weakness is on the horizon. Of course, one can’t plan for a black swan event,” Warrick Butler, Standard Bank’s chief trader, said in a note.

Before non-farm payrolls from the United States on Friday, local purchasing managers and business confidence measures due.

Bonds were flat, with the benchmark 10-year government issue steady at 8.15%.

In equities, open-pit mining company Afrimat said it had withdrawn its offer to buy Australian-listed Universal Coal plc, given the size and complexity of the transaction.

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