The rand strengthened for the first time in three days after a manufacturing index in China, the biggest buyer of South African raw materials, rose to a six- month high in September.
A preliminary reading of 51.2 for the Purchasing Managers' Index released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compared with a 50.9 median estimate from 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg and a 50.1 reading in August.
South African producer-price inflation slowed last month, data this week will show, according to a survey. The U.S. Senate may vote this week on a stopgap budget to keep the federal government running.
The "rand gains will be assisted by this morning's good Chinese data," John Cairns, a currency strategist at FirstRand Ltd.'s Rand Merchant Bank unit, said in an e-mailed note. "Global market attention will also be on politics. The U.S. has until next Monday to sign a budget if a government shutdown is going to be avoided."
The rand advanced 0.2 percent to 9.8682 per dollar by 10:12 a.m. in Johannesburg. It's weakened 14 percent against the dollar this year, the worst performer among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The yield on 10.5 percent rand-denominated government debt due December 2026 was little changed at 7.93 percent.
The spot price of gold traded 0.1 percent higher at $1,327.35 per ounce, paring its monthly loss to 4.5 percent. Platinum, used in the automotive-manufacturing industry, rose the first time in three days, adding 0.1 percent to $1,432.30 per ounce.
South African producer inflation probably eased to 6.5 percent on an annual basis from 6.6 percent, data will show on Sept. 26, according to seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.