South Africa’s rand steadies at 2-1/2-year high, stocks set to open flat


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand steadied against the dollar early on Wednesday, holding at a two-and-a-half-year high, supported by a weaker greenback and expectations the new leader of the ruling African National Congress would rejuvenate the economy.

At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 12.0300 per dollar, largely steady from its New York close on Tuesday.

The rand is trading at its best levels against the dollar since May 2015, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The South African currency has surged since Cyril Ramaphosa won the race to succeed Jacob Zuma as ANC leader last month, putting him in pole position to become the country’s next president.

Ramaphosa, currently the country’s deputy president, has pledged to fight corruption and woo foreign investment.

Stocks were set to open flat at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index largely unchanged.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond was down 4 basis points to 8.315 percent.

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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