South Africa’s rand flat after post Fed rally

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South African bank notes featuring images of former South African President Nelson Mandela (R) are displayed next to the American dollar notes in this photo illustration in Johannesburg August 13 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand traded sideways early on Friday in subdued volumes following a bank holiday and a quiet session in Asia, pausing a Fed-inspired rally that had lifted the currency away from a one-month low.

At 0630 GMT the rand traded at 14.2150 per dollar, unchanged from its overnight close in New York.

Locally concerns over power utility Eskom continued to weigh on sentiment, with the cash-strapped state firm saying Friday it would implement a seventh straight day of nationwide electricity cuts.

Investment giant Goldman Sachs said on Thursday the severe power cuts by Eskom are expected to shave 0.3 percentage points off first-quarter GDP growth.

Having stuttered for most of the week the rand turned positive on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it had abandoned plans to raise interest rates this year, dragging the greenback to a six-week low.

Bonds were steady, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 at 8.655 percent.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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