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Rand steadies ahead of inflation, retail sales data

In early trade the rand was at R15.92 against the dollar, not far from its previous close of R15.91.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

The rand steadied against the dollar in early trade on Wednesday, as investors awaited local inflation data and retail sales numbers a day before the central bank announces its interest-rate decision.

At 0603 GMT, the rand traded at R15.92 against the dollar, not far from its previous close of R15.91.

Statistics South Africa will publish April consumer price inflation data at 0800 GMT, with a Reuters poll showing the year-on-year CPI print is expected to remain at a five-year high of 5.9%, just within the central bank’s 3%-6% target range.

The statistics agency will publish March retail sales numbers at 1100 GMT, with a monetary policy decision by the South African Reserve Bank due on Thursday.

A Reuters poll published on Friday forecast the bank would make its first 50 basis-point repo rate hike in more than six years, taking it to 4.75%, to prevent potential second-round effects from higher consumer prices.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 2030 government bond was flat at 10.0%.

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