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rand--JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand firmed against the dollar on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve announced a new round of monetary stimulus to bolster the world's biggest economy.

 

The rand was 0.3 percent stronger against the dollar at 8.6227 at 0700 GMT from New York's Wednesday's close of 8.65.

 

The US Federal Reserve took the unprecedented step on Wednesday of indicating interest rates would remain near zero until unemployment falls to at least 6.5 percent.

 

"It ... implies that the level of inflows into emerging markets will remain well supported and inflows into South African bonds are expected to extend well into 2013," Tradition Analytics said in a client note.

 

"For the USD-ZAR, this could provide the catalyst for a re-test of levels approaching 8.6000, although this support has held firm in the past."

 

South Africa's Bureau of Economic Research is due to release a survey of fourth quarter inflation expectations later in the trading day and Statistics South Africa is due to release its November producer inflation data at 0930 GMT.

 

Economists polled by Reuters expect producer price inflation to pick up to 5.4 percent in November from 5.2 percent in October due to an upward trend in grain prices and a 7 percent decline in the rand this year.

 

Government bonds were slightly weaker, with the yield on the three year issue up one basis point to 5.44 percent and that on the longer dated 14-year paper up by the same margin to 7.335 basis points.

Copyright Reuters, 2012
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Annual2012/13
Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
MonthlyFebruary
Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
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Imports $3.600 bln
WeeklyApril 14, 2014
Reserves $9.713 bln