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JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s rand strengthened early on Monday, extending previous gains, as sentiment towards riskier, high-yield markets improved after trade talks between China and the European Union.

At 0650 the rand traded at 13.2125 to the dollar, up 0.32 percent from Friday’s close.

The dollar slipped against most major currencies on positive trade talks between China and the European Union.

 Statistics South Africa will publish June consumer price inflation data on Wednesday, before a decision on interest rates on Thursday.

South Africa’s Reserve Bank is expected to hold rates at 6.5 percent, said all 25 economists polled by Reuters.

“There is no change expected in interest rates and with a hike now priced in from around 6 months’ time, all ears will be listening for any kind of hawkish stance from the governor,” Standard Bank analysts said in a note.

The yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 fell 0.5 basis points to 8.725 percent.

Stocks opened lower, with the JSE’s Top-40 index futures index down 0.34 pct to 50085 points. 

- REUTERS