South Africa’s rand rises before release of retail sales data

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 gained on Wednesday, helped by momentum from the previous session after the United States said it would delay some tariffs on China.

At 0630 GMT the rand was up 0.1% to 15.1350 per dollar, back from an overnight push to 15.0900, its best in a week, with buyers returning as they assessed the strength of the recovery.

Statistics South Africa publishes June retail sales later. A Reuters poll of economists predicted a 2.3% expansion in the economy’s largest sector.

Indications the economy was recovering from the first quarter’s contraction could sustain the rand’s recovery, bringing sub-15.00 levels back into play, traders said.

Bonds were weaker, with yields on the benchmark 10-year bond adding half a basis point to 8.415%.

In equities, Aspen Pharmacare agreed to pay the British National Health Service 8 million pounds ($9.65 million) to resolve competition concerns.

Aspen shares were at the lowest since March before the market opened.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana, editing by Larry King

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