Johannesburg - The rand firmed against the dollar on Friday,
supported by a stronger euro, although a looming ANC leadership election next
week is keeping investors uneasy about holding the rand.
By 06:54 GMT the rand was at R8.6460 to the greenback,
firmer than Thursday's New York close of R8.6600.
Market analysts expect the rand to remain range bound
between R8.60 and R8.70 amid relatively thin pre-Christmas trade.
"For now we're expecting rand to remain at these levels
with a slightly weaker bias on the back of concerns around Mangaung and whether
or not there will be any policy changes," said Brigid Taylor, head of
institutional sales at Nedbank.
Mangaung is the district in the central city of Bloemfontein
where the ANC holds its five-yearly leadership conference. The ruling party is
also expected to make pronouncements on mining taxation and other areas of
On the debt market, yields on government bonds were mixed,
with that on the benchmark 2026 paper down 2 basis points to 7.305% and that on
the 2015 issue flat at 5.405%.
Treasury will sell inflation-linked 2025, 2050 and 2038
paper at 09:00 GMT at its last sale for the year, but the auction is likely to
be poorly supported amid no major concerns about the need to hedge against
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