South Africa’s rand strengthens slightly ahead of U.S. growth data

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand strengthened slightly against the dollar on Friday with other emerging markets, but its gains were capped by a strong dollar ahead of U.S. growth data.

At 0655 GMT the rand was 0.42 percent stronger at 14.3800 per dollar compared with an overnight close of 14.4400.

“In tandem with emerging market currencies, the rand struggled to gain traction against a strong greenback as the trade-weighted US dollar continued to benefit from positive data releases,” said NKC African Economics in a morning note.

The currency market’s focus is now on the U.S. GDP data, which could reinforce bullishness about the world’s top economy after a slew of numbers this week pointed at an improved outlook. [nL3N2281G0]

NKC African Economics said it expects the rand to trade between 14.25 and 14.50 rand to the dollar.

South African-focused investors will look to any election news ahead of parliamentary and provincial polls on May 8.

In fixed income, bonds also weakened the yield on the benchmark 10-year issue was up 1 basis points to 8.600 percent.

Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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