South African rand at 1-week high on trade optimism

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The Rand, South African Currency.

South Africa’s rand inched firmer against the dollar on Friday, as risk appetite was whetted by comments from the White House suggesting Washington and Beijing were close to striking an interim trade pact.

At 0640 GMT, the rand was at 14.7700 per dollar, its strongest level in a week, and 0.3% firmer than its close on Thursday.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday that the world’s two largest economies were in close touch via telephone, and an agreement could be reached soon, providing a fillip to investor confidence.

“We have been speaking about trade tensions and trade negotiations for what feels like forever. And yet, it continues to be an important factor, one that influences market movements on a daily basis. Today is no different,”

“We see Asian markets trading in positive territory … This bodes well for the trading session domestically and is likely to support the rand at current levels,” RMB analyst Siobhan Redford said in a note.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 dipped 2.5 basis points to 8.405%.

Peace PIAK