Rand gains as platinum strike ends

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NewRandMoney Reuters.

Johannesburg - South Africa's rand remained firm on Tuesday after hitting two-week highs in the previous session as relief swept the market after the country's longest strike ended.

The local unit was trading at 10.57 rand per dollar at 09:15 SA time, slightly stronger than its New York close of 10.59.

On Monday it had gained 1 percent, breaking through 10.56 to the dollar at one point for the first time in a fortnight.

The five-month stoppage in the platinum sector dragged Africa's most advanced economy into contraction in the first quarter, costing the world's top three producers of the precious metal almost 24 billion rand in lost revenue.

The reprieve may be short-lived as metal workers' union NUMSA looks set to go on strike next week in the key auto sector.

“The good news is that the strike has ended,” said Carmen Nel of Rand Merchant Bank in a morning market note.

“An additional concern is that the increased activity in the platinum sector will add to the existing strain in the power grid, with Eskom recently warning of tight supply,” she added.

Government bond yields were steady to slightly firmer, with the yield for the bond maturing next year slipping 1.5 basis to 6.620 percent while the 2026 issue was down 2.5 basis points to 8.285 percent. - Reuters

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