Johannesburg - The rand held firm against the dollar
on Wednesday, consolidating a surprisingly strong performance in the previous
session after weaker-than-expected economic growth figures.
The rand was little changed at 06:11 GMT, trading at R8.8434
against the greenback after New York's close of R8.845.
"The international backdrop remains negative this
morning but the trend for rand gains remains strong," Rand Merchant Bank
said in a note.
Investors are likely to pay attention to a speech by Reserve
Bank Governor Gill Marcus at a conference of the National Union of Metalworkers
of South Africa (Numsa) at 08:00 GMT.
Marcus left the repo rate unchanged at a four-decade low of
5.0% last week and warned that strikes in the mining sector and beyond since
August would lead to job losses in a country already grappling with
unemployment of over 25%.
Tuesday's GDP statistics drove home that point, showing that
growth slowed sharply in the third quarter after a big contraction in the
strike-hit mining sector.
Government bond yields slipped one basis point each to 5.46%
for the three year bond and 7.555% for the longer dated 14-year paper.
Power utility Eskom is due to auction R400m between the EL29
and ES33 bonds at 09:00 GMT.