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Rand holds steady versus dollar

Johannesburg - South Africa's rand held firm against the dollar on Wednesday, building on the near 1 percent gains achieved in the previous session amid hopes of an imminent end to an engineering sector strike.

At 08:42 SA time, the local unit had inched 0.13 percent up from its New York close to 10.6700, a week-high against the greenback.

The currency was buoyed by hopes of an imminent resolution to an 8-day work stoppage by more than 200,000 workers in the metals and engineering sector.

On Tuesday strike-leader NUMSA said it would take the latest wage offer by employers to its members for consideration.

The rand is, however, poised for some turbulence ahead of manufacturing and mining data for May on Thursday.

The numbers are expected to confirm damage done to the economy by recent labour unrest.

“The rand's outperformance yesterday may have been aided by news flow that wage negotiations in the manufacturing sector are progressing,” Carmen Nel of Rand Merchant Bank said in a morning market note.

“But on balance the unit remains a relative underperformer on a longer-term trend.”

Government bonds ticked up slightly, with the yield on the paper due in 2015 down 1 basis point to 6.7 percent and the longer bill due in 2026 down 2 basis points to 8.315 percent. - Reuters

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