Johannesburg - The rand is expected to hold steady this
week, holding on to recent gains, although any surprises from a slew of
year-end data could weigh on the unit.
The rand was at R8.6590 to the dollar at 06:48 GMT on
Monday, similar to its close in New York on Friday.
It rallied on Friday after an unexpected fall in the US
jobless rate boosted emerging market currencies and is expected to settle into
a range this week.
"It looks like it's going to trade quite well, maybe
towards the low 60s in a continuation of last week," said Jim Bryson, a
trader at Rand Merchant Bank. "It's really a search for yield now with the
projections in Europe.
Local data to be released this week include retail sales,
employment and manufacturing production figures on Tuesday and inflation on
Wednesday. Softer-than-expected numbers could put the rand under renewed
selling pressure, analysts at Absa Capital said.
"Such an outcome would serve as a reminder of South
Africa's fragile macroeconomic backdrop and may even re-ignite expectations of
more monetary accommodation," the analysts wrote in a research note.
The yields on the 2026 and 2015 bonds inched up one basis
point each to 7.38% and 5.48% respectively.
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