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Rand flat against dollar in thin trade

Published Dec 31, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand was largely unchanged in thin trade early on Friday as the currency struggled to make meaningful gains against a stronger dollar, while stocks weakened.

Early in the day, the rand traded at 15.9 against the dollar, 0.06 percent weaker than its previous close.

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The dollar ticked up against a basket of rival currencies in holiday-thinned trading on Thursday, as a dip in weekly jobless-claims data helped ease fears that a surge of Covid-19 infections would curb the economic recovery.

The rand ignored an easing of local Covid-19 restrictions as most traders were on holiday for New Year’s Eve.

South Africa lifted a midnight to 4am curfew on people’s movements with immediate effect on Thursday, believing the country has passed the peak of its fourth Covid-19 wave, driven by the Omicron variant.

The Johannesburg All-Share Index looked set to end 2021 on a weaker note, declining by 0.26 percent in thin holiday trade at 7.45am. Market participants expect a relatively quiet day with the market closing early at midday today.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 2030 government bond was down 7.5 basis point at 9.3 percent.

Reuters

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