Rand pulls back from 4-1/2 year lows

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Johannesburg - South Africa's rand steadied against the dollar early on Monday, looking vulnerable at the start of the week after rand weakness moved back from key support around 10.50.

At 08:46 SA time, the rand was slightly weaker at 10.3350 to the dollar.

The unit was not far off its 10.32 close in New York on Friday, after falling to an over 4-1/2 year low on better-than-expected US jobs numbers.

“Dollar/rand is back in the low 10.30s this morning. Risks still remain but the threat of a run on the rand has reduced meaningfully, not least because tapering may now be priced,” said John Cairns of Rand Merchant Bank in a note.

However, South Africa's currency remains vulnerable to persistent selling of local debt and shares by offshore accounts.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange will release data for last week's sales of shares and bonds later on Monday.

Government bonds were holding firm with yields down to 8.375 percent on the benchmark 2026 bond and 6.275 percent on the 2015 issue.

From Tuesday, investors will be watching key local data that includes manufacturing and mining production for October, consumer and producer price inflation for November and retail sales data for October. - Reuters

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