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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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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