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Rand firms marginally

Johannesburg - The rand firmed slightly against the US dollar on Wednesday but remained at the weaker end of a recent trading range that could be tested if factory output figures due in the next session are weaker than expected.

The rand was at 10.7400 per dollar at 17:11 SA time, a gain of 0.2 percent on the day.

Earlier, the currency of Africa's most developed economy dropped to a month-low of 10.8225 before staging an intraday rally.

Yields on government bonds were mixed, with that on the paper due in 2015 dropping 2 basis points to 6.655 percent, and that on the 2026 paper climbing 3 basis points to 8.315 percent.

Charts suggest the currency is still in a short-, medium- and long-term weakening trend, although it has held within a rough 10.53-10.82 range since the start of June.

June manufacturing production figures are due at 13:00 SA time on Thursday, with economists expecting a contraction of 2.1 percent, a reflection of the lingering effect of a five-month strike in the platinum mines. - Reuters

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