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Markets

South Africa rand steady, eyes global markets

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand was stable against the dollar on Wednesday after notching its fourth straight daily
04 Jan 2012

south_africa_randJOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand was stable against the dollar on Wednesday after notching its fourth straight daily gain overnight and should continue to take its cue from global developments in the absence of market-moving local news.

By 0658 GMT the rand was trading unchanged from its New York closing level of 8.0570 on Tuesday.

"The rand traded quite strongly yesterday. The year started risk-on so we had positive performances in commodities and stock markets. The euro also strengthened against the dollar after there was some good numbers that came out of the States," a Johannesburg rand trader said.

"But overnight in Asia we've see the euro come off from those highs of yesterday. For today we're probably going to trade in an 8.00-12 range."

From a technical perspective, a close firmer than 8.02 could open up a rally to 7.95 for the rand.

Government bonds were little changed from Tuesday's closing levels as trading remains sluggish at the start of the year.

The yield on the benchmark 2015 bond was flat at 6.74 percent while the longer dated 2026 bond edged up one basis point to 8.51 percent.

Despite last year's global selling of emerging market assets due to worries about contagion from debt problems in the euro zone, South African bonds were cushioned by their high-yield status, relative to yields in more developed countries.

"We continue to maintain the view that once the ECB's (European Central Bank) recent loosening begins to impact the euro zone economy more positively, and the same happens in the UK economy ... a healthy inflow to local equity and bond markets is set to resume," Tradition Analytics said in a note.

Copyright Reuters, 2011