South Africa’s rand recovers, stocks set to open higher

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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand firmed against the dollar early on Monday, recovering from losses suffered last week as credit ratings downgrade fears and domestic political risks spoiled appetite for the currency.

At 0647 GMT, the rand traded at 13.3675 per dollar, 0.54 percent firmer than its New York close on Friday.

The rand weakened on Friday as investors awaited a ratings decision by Moody’s. Treasury said late on Friday that Moody’s would not publish the decision as scheduled as the firm had already made two changes to the country’s debt status.

Moody’s is expected to instead publish a ratings opinion on Tuesday.

The currency was also dragged to its weakest in nearly a month last week after President Jacob Zuma survived a no-confidence vote in parliament.

Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.58 percent.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 2.5 basis points to 8.625 percent.

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Jon Boyle(Reuters)

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