Rand weaker ahead of local data releases, Fed meeting

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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand fell on Thursday as investors await local data releases and the U.S’s Federal Reserve’s meeting later in the day.

* At 0717 GMT, the rand fell 0.43 percent to 13.9775 to the dollar, having firmed against a weaker dollar on Wednesday after U.S. midterm elections split Congress. This is seen as lowering the chance of any major U.S. fiscal policy boost soon.

* The rand is expected to trade in the range of 13.70 to 14.05 rand to the dollar, an NKC note said.

* “Focus turns to the Fed meeting, with markets expecting rates to remain unchanged. However, investors will peruse the Fed’s statement for clues on future monetary-policy setting,” said Rand Merchant Bank analysts said in a note.

* South Africa will publish manufacturing data and mining production figures for September on Thursday. A Reuters poll forecasts total mining to rise 0.30 percent.

* Bonds were weaker, with the yield on government’s 10-year paper up 4.5 basis points to 9.115 percent.

* On the bourse, the all-share index opened flat at 54,708 point. – Reuters Africa

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