Rand slightly softer

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Johannesburg - South Africa's rand was slightly weaker against the dollar on Monday ahead of a data-heavy week but is expected to trade rangebound until the US Federal Reserve's next policy meeting next week.

The rand was at 10.3530 to the dollar at 17:39 SA time, down 0.3 percent from Friday's New York close.

Data expected this week include October mining and factory output data and third quarter employment numbers on Tuesday and November consumer inflation statistics on Wednesday.

But the US Federal Reserve's decision on when to begin tapering its quantitative easing programme will be the most keenly watched economic event before the Christmas holidays.

Stronger-than-expected nonfarm payrolls data on Friday has raised expectations that the Fed could make its decision to scale back its bond purchases at its policy meeting from December 17-18.

“Despite a deluge of domestic data this week, we believe that participants will largely mark time ahead of next week's all-important FOMC meeting. Hence, we are expecting rangebound trade for the rand over the coming days,” Absa Capital analysts wrote in a note.

The yield on the 2026 government bond fell 12 basis points to 8.275 percent while that on the 2015 paper was 10.5 basis points lower at 6.19 percent. - Reuters

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