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Rand steady as Mangaung calms fears

Dec 20 2012 09:24 Reuters


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Johannesburg - The rand was largely steady against the dollar on Thursday, with sentiment largely positive after a leadership conference of the ruling ANC allayed investor fears of any radical policy shifts. 

The currency was at R8.5060 to the greenback by 08:05 GMT, little changed from Wednesday's close at R8.4850. 

"We're not expecting anything major today, we're firmly entrenched in holiday markets, and more broadly the scene is more positive for risk," said Absa Capital trader Duncan Howes. 

"The major risk event for the local currency, being the Mangaung conference, is pretty much out of the way and I don't think there's going to be too much movement." 

Investors had been nervous that the ANC's conference in Mangaung this week could herald a shift towards more populist policies like state intervention and takeover of mines in the world's largest platinum producer. 

But fears of outright nationalisation have abated, and investors took comfort in the election by the ANC of respected businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as its deputy president. He will  serve with President Jacob Zuma, who was re-elected ANC chief. 

For the rest of the week, the rand should meet resistance around the R8.30 area while finding support at R8.55/60, traders said. 

Government bonds were also largely stable in early trade, with the yields for the 14-year benchmark and the three-year paper each edging up half a basis point to 7.26% and 5.35% respectively.

 

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rand  |  mangaung 2012  |  markets
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