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Rand drifts lower ahead of current account data

Mar 08 2016 10:13

Johannesburg - The rand ended a two-day run of gains against the dollar on Tuesday, drifting half a percent lower against the dollar ahead of current account data at 10:00 that may set the direction for the session.

Stocks looked likely to start slightly weaker, as indicated by the Top-40 futures index, which dipped 0.37%.

At 08:53 the rand was trading at R15.3400/$, down 0.54% from Monday's close at 15.2575.

The rand took its cue mainly from Asia, where shares took a breather after a month-long rally.

"The market is likely to remain in limbo until the South African Reserve Bank quarterly bulletin comes out this morning with the latest current account information," NKC African Economics said in a morning note.

The current account deficit is expected to have widened slightly to 4.35% of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2015 from 4.1% in the third quarter, according to a Reuters poll.

The current account shortfall, largely financed by portfolio inflows, has long been a source of risk for the rand.

On the debt market, government bonds were a touch firmer, with the yield on the 2026 benchmark government bond easing 2 basis points to 9.28%.

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rand  |  markets  |  currencies

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