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Rand softer

Johannesburg - South Africa's rand traded a touch softer against the dollar on Thursday, ahead of mining and manufacturing output data likely to illustrate the adverse impact of wage strikes on the economy.

However, the currency's losses might be tempered by broad-based dollar weakness after the latest Federal Reserve minutes gave no indication of when US rates are likely to go up.

The rand was trading at 10.6850 versus the greenback by 08:30 SA time, 0.18 percent off its New York close on Wednesday.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was flat at 8.3 percent, as was that for the 2015 issue at 6.68 percent.

“The moves of late in the bond market have been driven rather by a lack of liquidity than real money investment or disinvestment,” Rand Merchant Bank trader Deon Kohlmeyer said in a note.

“Only closer to 8.1 percent/8.0 percent on the R186s will we see a strong selling bias again.”

The rand could weaken if mining and factory production - hit by a five month platinum strike than ended in late June - contract more than analysts have predicted.

Investors are keeping an eye on efforts to end another wage strike by metal and engineering workers now in its second week, which has hit the auto sector. - Reuters

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