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Rand flat against dollar in thin trade

Published Dec 31, 2021


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.


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