President Donald Trump speaks before presenting Valerie Nessel the Medal of Honor for her husband Air Force Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman, posthumously for conspicuous gallantry, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
JOHANNESBURG -  South Africa’s rand was firmer on Friday, regaining poise after a sharp dip in the previous session following U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweet about land reform.

Some traders were buying the currency at current levels to hedge against a likely return of dollar strength.

At 0650 GMT the rand was 0.5 percent firmer at 14.3200 per dollar, a touch off its overnight run to 14.2150.

Trade in the rand has been volatile this week as global risk sentiment oscillated over concerns about the trade spat between Washington and Beijing and rising interest rates in the United States.

 On Thursday Trump said on Twitter he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to study South African “land and farm seizures” and the “killing of farmers”, pushing the rand back towards 14.50 following four consecutive sessions of gains.

Once the initial jitters had subsided traders with long dollar bets, spurred by momentum and technical indicators, looked to “buy the dip” and position for another bout of rand weakness linked to the unfavourable local and international backdrop.

Bonds were flat, with the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 down 0.5 basis points to 8.94 percent.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) was set to open lower, with the Top-40 futures index down 0.27 percent.

- REUTERS