Rand treads a narrow range

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IOL pic jun17 rand banknotes 100 200 in hand Associated Press File picture: Denis Farrell

Johannesburg - South Africa's rand traded close to the previous day's 8-day high versus the dollar on Thursday and looked set to tread a narrow range in a session devoid of market-driving domestic data releases.

Investors were still buoyant on the currency a day after central bank data showed the current account unexpectedly narrowed in the first quarter, rare good news for an economy struggling to avoid its second recession in five years.

By 07h15 GMT the rand was at 10.6550 to the greenback, up slightly from Wednesday's close at 10.6610.

The dollar wallowed at its lowest in nearly two weeks against a basket of major currencies after the US Federal Reserve signalled overnight that interest rates in the world's biggest economy would stay low for a while.

“The rand now looks primed for a move back to the 10.5200 support level, provided it can crack the 10.64 floor of course,” Standard Bank trader Warrick Butler said.

Government bonds tracked the local currency higher, and yields fell to their lowest in nearly a week.

The yield for the 2026 instrument, the benchmark for the secondary market, slid 12.5 basis points to 8.31 percent, while the shorter-dated 2015 paper fell 11 basis points to 6.63 percent. - Reuters

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