Rand advances as foreigners continue buying debt

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Johannesburg - South Africa’s rand strengthened as foreign investors bought the country’s debt for a second day after the longest streak of bond outflows on record.

“Foreign investments are arriving to rebuild sold-off positions,” John Cairns, a currency strategist at Johannesburg- based FirstRand Ltd.’s Rand Merchant Bank unit, said in an e- mailed note to clients today.

“There have been two days of good bond buying.”

Foreign investors bought a net 2 billion rand ($194 million) in the two days through yesterday, snapping a 13-day outflow, data from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange shows.

A report from the statistics agency at 1 p.m. may show South African manufacturing production grew for the first time on a monthly basis since July, according to the median estimate of eight economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The rand gained 0.3 percent to 10.3641 per dollar by 10:14 a.m. in Johannesburg.

The currency slid 18 percent this year, making it the worst performer among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Yields on rand-denominated government debt due 2023 rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 8.01 percent after falling 12 basis points yesterday.

Foreigners have sold a net 3.1 billion rand of debt this month after net outflows of 14.83 billion rand in November, according to Johannesburg Stock Exchange data. - Bloomberg News

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