Rand fluctuates ahead of growth data

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IOL world currency1 Graphic: Renjith Krishnan.

Cape Town - The rand swung between gains and losses before the release of data that may show growth in Africa’s biggest economy slowed last year.

South Africa’s currency advanced as much as 0.6 percent and retreated as much as 0.1 percent.

It traded 0.1 percent stronger at 8.88559 per dollar as of 9:36 a.m. in Johannesburg.

Yields on benchmark 10.5 percent bonds due December 2026 fell two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 7.19 percent.

Gross domestic product expanded 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter, from 1.2 percent in the previous three months, a report today may show, according to the median estimate of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Growth likely averaged 2.4 percent for the year, from 3.1 percent the previous year.

“Risks certainly will not let up today,” John Cairns, a currency strategist at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, said in e-mailed comments.

“We expect a below-consensus number for fourth-quarter GDP which would put the rand under some pressure.” - Bloomberg News

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