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Rand softer as fears weigh

Johannesburg - The South African rand weakened against the dollar for the fourth straight trading session on Tuesday as the market fretted about the impact of what is expected to be weaker Chinese growth data out on Wednesday.

The South African rand was trading at 10.5550 against the greenback at 17:26 SA time as the dollar held firm against a basket of major currencies.

The local unit was down 0.5 percent from its New York close on Monday.

Worries about escalating tensions in Ukraine weighed on emerging market sentiment, and weaker-than-expected Chinese GDP numbers on Wednesday would add more pressure, said Investec EM analyst Ryan Wibberley.

“If the Chinese GDP is a shocker, you could see a sell-off in world markets and a flight to safety to US treasuries and maybe the US equity markets, and that would have negative implications for the rand,” Wibberley said.

In fixed income, government bonds also retreated despite a fairly well supported weekly primary bond auction for paper due in 2030, 2037 and 2048.

The yield on the 2026 paper notched up 9 basis point to 8.475 percent while that for the 2015 paper climbed 6.5 basis points to 6.83 percent. - Reuters

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