Rand flat on caution ahead of US jobs data

In early trade the rand was 0.02% stronger at R15.45 against the dollar, little changed from its overnight close of R15.45.
Image: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg

The rand was flat in early trade on Friday, as the dollar struggled towards a steady week, ahead of the US jobs data later in the day, which could give clues on the Federal Reserve’s move to raise interest rates.

At 0641 GMT, the rand was 0.02% stronger at R15.45 against the dollar, little changed from its overnight close of R15.45. The rand tends to take its cues from global factors, including dollar moves in the absence of major local drivers.

Investors have locked in consecutive 50-basis-point Fed hikes in June and July, but are looking for clues to see how far and fast it could raise interest rates, as the dollar has been on shaky grounds this week by uncertainty on what happens after that.

A manufacturing survey on South African private sector activity’s performance in May is expected later in the day. An upbeat survey earlier in the week had helped the currency hold its ground against the dollar.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major peers, was trading at 101.720.

The government’s benchmark 2030 bond firmed slightly, with the yield down 2 basis point at 9.835%.

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