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JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand treaded water in early trade on Tuesday in the absence of local economic drivers as investors await the monetary policy committee meeting later this week and ex-president Jacob Zuma's testimony at a graft inquiry.

At 0647 GMT, the rand ticked up 0.09% at 13.8900 per dollar from its close of 13.9025 in New York.

"With this commission that is going on, it is a welcome distraction in terms of a very lethargic market," said Oliver Alwar, senior trader at Standard Bank.

Riskier assets continue to benefit from expectations of a U.S Federal Reserve rate cut, he added.

The rand is expected to trade in a range of 13.80 to 14.05 to the dollar on Tuesday, NKC African Economics said in a note.

The yield on South Africa's benchmark 2026 government bond  dipped 2 basis points to 8.020%.

By 0733 GMT, stocks were higher with the benchmark JSE Top-40 Index up 0.2% to 51,553 points while the broader All-Share Index ticked up 0.13% to 57,612 points.

Copyright Reuters, 2019