Rand strengthens as strike fears ease

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NewRandMoney Reuters.

Johannesburg - South Africa's rand gained on Tuesday, bouncing from losses the previous session amid hopes that a strike by more than 200,000 metal and engineering workers might be nearing conclusion.

The rand was at 10.7570 to the dollar at 08:48 SA time, 0.16 percent stronger than its New York close.

The local unit has been under pressure from a week-long strike over wages by the Numsa metalworkers union, but the labour ministry said the two sides were “very close” to agreeing a deal when talks resume on Tuesday, raising hopes of a swift conclusion.

An unsanctioned work stoppage that began last Friday at Impala Platinum's Marula operation also ended on Tuesday with 2,000 employees returning to work.

The Numsa strike is estimated to be costing South Africa's economy around 200 million rand a day.

US auto-maker General Motors has shut down production but Mercedes-Benz and Toyota have said their operations have yet to be affected.

The rand has also been having to contend with strength in the dollar stemming from recent data indicating the US economy is growing.

Yields on both government bonds were unmoved, with the benchmark paper due next year at 6.77 percent and the bond due in 2026 remaining at 8.425 percent. - Reuters

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