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JOHANNESBURG: The South African rand was slightly stronger in early trade on Wednesday, reflecting a weaker dollar on global markets, ahead of the scheduled release of domestic budget and trade figures.

By 0602 GMT, the rand traded at 16.9700 against the dollar, about 0.2% stronger than Tuesday’s close.

The dollar was down around 0.2% against a basket of currencies, as investors braced for comments later from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and a key monthly jobs report due at the end of the week.

October budget balance and trade data will be published around 1200 GMT, shedding light on the health of Africa’s most industrialised economy in the final quarter of the year.

South African rand gains as dollar falters; unemployment data due

Also on Wednesday, a panel of experts is set to tell the speaker of parliament whether there is sufficient preliminary evidence for an impeachment process against President Cyril Ramaphosa, regarding a robbery at his game farm in 2020. Ramaphosa has denied wrongdoing over the robbery.

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