SA’s rand firms slightly on dollar wobble

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand firmed early on Friday, clawing back some ground after plunging in a broad emerging market slide the previous day, with some end-of-week positioning and a dollar wobble on trade fears helping to lift the unit.

* At 0645 GMT the rand was 0.26 percent firmer at 12.5600 per dollar compared to a close of 12.5925 overnight in New York.

* Traders have warned of volatile trade in the rand this week, albeit in a narrow range between 12.40 and 12.80 and with risks to the upside, with the rally in U.S. assets set to continue while risk appetite remains fragile.

* “Despite some resilience over the most recent sessions, the rand ultimately remains vulnerable as a result of various global and local factors,” said Nedbank senior analyst Reezwana Sumad in a note.

* The greenback has pummelled all contenders this week while U.S. Treasuries have also soared on bets of higher lending rates there as well as signs of improved economic growth.

* In early trade on Friday however the dollar was down 0.05 percent.

* On Thursday China offered U.S. President Donald Trump a package of trade concessions and increased purchases of American goods to prevent a trade war, however there remained scepticism whether Trump would accept the offer.[nL2N1SO0S2]

* Bonds were slightly firmer, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 paper down 1.5 basis points to 8.495 percent.

* Stocks were due to open firmer at 0700 GMT, with the Top-40 futures index up 0.22 percent.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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