Johannesburg - South Africa's rand had a slight upper hand against the dollar on Wednesday after pushing through the key 9.96 barrier overnight, although worries about a US debt ceiling stand-off should keep risk appetite in check.
Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus was due to lead a presentation to parliament at 10:30 SA time likely to touch on the impact of the looming debt crisis in the world's biggest economy on emerging markets like South Africa.
By 09:05 SA time the rand traded at 9.96 to the greenback, up 0.35 percent from where it ended Tuesday's session in New York.
“The rand eventually broke the support through 9.97/96 as the bids got filled and we had good selling from local and offshore accounts,” Standard Bank trader Jan de Fouw said in a note to clients.
Traders said the market was still largely in “wait and see” mode regarding a resolution of the US government shutdown which has weighed on the dollar, and confirmation of Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve.
In fixed income, government bond yield spreads widened slightly, with the 2026 benchmark bond flat at 8.025 percent while the 2015 issue at the shorter end of the curve shed 2 basis points to 6.03 percent. - Reuters