Rand firmer as emerging markets take a breather

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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand firmed against the dollar early on Tuesday as some emerging market currencies that sold-off sharply in recent weeks regained some lost ground.

At 0650 GMT the rand was 0.77 percent stronger at 15.0925 per dollar compared to a close of 15.2100 in New York.

Investors remain cautious in the rand though following second-quarter gross domestic product data last week which showed the economy entered into a recession.

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The local market awaits the release of manufacturing production data for July at 1100 GMT, with the market expecting a 1.10 percent increase year on year from a 0.7 percent rise in June.

The ramp-up in trade war rhetoric from Washington continues to rattle investor confidence as U.S. President Donald Trump said he was ready to impose tariffs on almost all Chinese imports, threatening additional duties on another $267 billion of goods.

Bonds were weaker, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 rising 1.5 basis points to 9.225 percent.

Stocks were set to open weaker at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index down 0.26 percent. – Reuters Africa

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