News Updates

Rand near 2-week highs, eyes on MPC

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“The rand … is back into the old 11.35-11.85 range so being long dollars is counter-intuitive at this stage,” Standard Bank trader Warrick Butler said in a note.

JOHANNESBURG, March 25 (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand traded within reach of the previous day’s two-week high on Wednesday, with U.S. durable goods data likely to drive sentiment ahead of Thursday’s domestic monetary policy statement.

The local unit changed hands at 11.8335 per dollar around 0657 GMT, a 0.28 percent retreat from Tuesday’s last trading level in New York.

Government bonds extended gains with the yield on the benchmark 2026 government paper shedding 2 basis points to 7.63 percent, its lowest in more than three weeks.

Charts show the rand could run into resistance at 11.6700/7500 while the 11.9600 and 12.1500 levels should offer support for the currency.

“The rand … is back into the old 11.35-11.85 range so being long dollars is counter-intuitive at this stage,” Standard Bank trader Warrick Butler said in a note.

“There is some U.S. data out today in the form of durable goods and if this is a soft number then expect another bout of risky asset acquisition.”

High-yielding emerging market assets have rallied since the Federal Reserve signalled last week that U.S. rates would rise more slowly than previously expected.

South African Reserve Bank’s policy statement on Thursday is not likely to offer any surprises, with all 35 economists polled by Reuters expecting the benchmark repo rate to stay unchanged at 5.75 percent.

(Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; Editing by Joe Brock)

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