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SA’s rand flat in early trade amid trade war

By Reuters | December 29th 2018
South African Rand coins. [Photo: Reuters]

JOHANNESBURG- South Africa’s rand was flat early on Friday, giving up its small overnight gains as renewed jitters about the impact on global growth of the simmering trade war between China and the United States kept investors on the sidelines.

At 0730 GMT the rand was steady at 14.4725 per dollar, unchanged from its overnight close in New York, having traded at a session-best of 14.4225 before fading as the local session kicked off.

The dollar remained on the back foot, down 0.1 percent, weighed down by a reversal in stocks after the sharp jump earlier in the week.

Safe-haven assets like the Japanese yen and gold were main beneficiaries of tentative global trade as concerns about slowing global economic growth and a partial government shutdown in the United States limited demand for riskier assets.

In the only local data event of the day, South Africa’s Revenue Service (SARS) publishes trade balance figures for November at 1200 GMT.

Bonds were weaker, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 up 3 basis points to 8.96 percent.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s (JSE) Top-40 index opened firmer after a more than one percent slide in the previous session, rising 0.5 percent to 45,877 points.

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