SA’s rand firmer as dollar buyers tread water ahead of Fed comments

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand firmed early on Monday, scoring some relief against a slack dollar as investors looked ahead to key offshore events including a report from the U.S. central bank.

At 0700 GMT the rand was 0.3 percent firmer at 14.3475 per dollar from a close of 14.3900 on Friday, with investors holding fire ahead of the U.S. inflation numbers and comments from Federal Reserve policy makers.

The March reading for core personal consumption expenditures is due later on Monday. The data is seen as the Fed’s favoured inflation measure and investors will scour it for clues on the bank’s next interest rate move.

“Local market activity is likely to be driven by month-end flows, although the extent of these is likely to be limited,” analysts at Nedbank said in a note.

Bonds also gained, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year issue down 2 basis points to 8.555 percent.

Stocks opened flat, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index up 0.02 percent at 52,583 points.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana

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