Rand firms after Fed stimulus pledge

2012-12-13 09:55

Johannesburg - The rand firmed against the dollar on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve announced a new round of monetary stimulus to bolster the world's biggest economy.

The rand was 0.3% stronger against the dollar at R8.6227 at 07:00 GMT from New York's Wednesday's close of R8.65.

The US Federal Reserve took the unprecedented step on Wednesday of indicating interest rates would remain near zero until unemployment falls to at least 6.5%. 

"It ... implies that the level of inflows into emerging markets will remain well supported and inflows into South African bonds are expected to extend well into 2013," Tradition Analytics said in a client note.

"For the USD-ZAR, this could provide the catalyst for a re-test of levels approaching R8.6000, although this support has held firm in the past."

South Africa's Bureau of Economic Research is due to release a survey of fourth quarter inflation expectations later in the trading day and Statistics South Africa is due to release its November producer inflation data at 09:30 GMT.

Economists polled by Reuters expect producer price inflation to pick up to 5.4% in November from 5.2% in October due to an upward trend in grain prices and a 7% decline in the rand this year.

Government bonds were slightly weaker, with the yield on the three year issue up one basis point to 5.44% and that on the longer dated 14-year paper up by the same margin to 7.335 basis points.