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Middle East & Africa


South Africa's rand flat vs dollar ahead of rates decision JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand was largely flat against the dollar on Thursday ahead of a central bank decision on interest rates later in the session. The currency was unmoved from its New York close, trading at 10.6800 per dollar at 0600 GMT after nudging up in the previous session after statistics revealed domestic retail sales had grown ahead of market forecasts in May.The market remained split on whether Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus will hike interest rates or keep them unchanged at 5.5 percent. Eighteen of the 31 economists polled by Reuters expected the Reserve Bank to keep rates accommodative at 5.5 percent in light of the frail economy, despite inflation sitting above the bank's 3-6 percent range. "Retail sales have been rather resilient in 2014 despite weak GDP growth, suggesting that the slowdown in the economy is from the supply side and not the demand side," said Christie Viljoen ...

Kenya shilling eases slightly, eye on 88 level NAIROBI: The Kenyan shilling weakened on Wednesday because of demand from oil companies for dollars, then steadied on expectations the central bank would intervene if it got much weaker.At 0730 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 87.80/90 to the dollar, slightly down from Tuesday's close of 87.75/85."We saw the oil sector in the market buying dollars, so that's the marginal weakening on the shilling," John Njenga, trader at Commercial Bank of Africa, said.Traders said ...
Kenyan shilling holds steady, dollar demand may be key for direction  NAIROBI: The Kenyan shilling trod water against the dollar on Tuesday and traders said importer demand for dollars would provide it with direction but within a tight range.At 0700 GMT, leading banks posted the shilling at 87.65/75, unchanged from the previous day's close, amid subdued activities on the interbank market."We have seen a few enquiries here and there as we approach the end month and that should keep the dollar well-supported. The ranges are between ...
South Africa's rand vulnerable to more wage strikes JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand weakened slightly against the dollar on Tuesday, with scope to extend losses as the country's largest labour union enters the third week of a wage strike that has hit the operations of major auto makers. At 0646 GMT the rand was trading at 10.7050/dollar, down 0.28 percent from its previous close. In fixed income, the yield for the 2026 benchmark added 1 basis point to 8.335 percent while the 2015 paper ...
South Africa's rand weaker as strike drags on, eyes on central bank JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand traded weaker on Monday after the NUMSA union rejected the latest wage offer from employers at the weekend and threatened to escalate a two-week-old strike.Market watchers predicted range-bound trade in the run-up to Thursday's monetary policy decision, where a small majority of the 31 analysts polled by Reuters expect the Reserve Bank to keep interest rates unchanged.At 0643 GMT the rand was trading 0.43 percent softer at 10.7480 to the dollar ...
Kenyan shilling stuck in a tight range NAIROBI: The Kenyan shilling was little changed against the dollar on Monday and traders said it was likely to trade within a tight band.At 0720 GMT, commercial banks posted the shilling at 87.65/75 per dollar, barely changed from Friday's closing rate of 87.60/70.A senior trader with a leading commercial bank said the currency would trade in a narrow band of 87.50-88.00 with corporate demand for dollars and inflows from exports like tea determining its likely ...
South Africa's rand weakens as end to strike hope dissipates JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand inched lower against the dollar on Friday for a second straight session as hopes of an end to a strike in the metals and engineering sector were dashed. Strike leader NUMSA rejected employers' latest offer of a 10 percent wage increase on behalf of over 200,000 workers, union sources said, sending the stoppage into its second full week. At 1426 GMT, the local unit had fallen by 0.3 percent to 10.7235 ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.558 bln
Exports $2.117 bln
Imports $3.675 bln
WeeklyJuly 10, 2014
Reserves $14.638 bln