Johannesburg - South Africa's rand firmed within a recent range on Thursday, trading sideways for a second session as investors avoided taking big positions ahead of a long weekend.

The rand was at 10.5400 to the dollar at 08:47 SA time, 0.25 percent off a 10.5665 close in New York on Wednesday and trading within levels set two sessions ago.

Government bonds tracked the currency's moves and yields were just a notch firmer on the 2026 and 2015 benchmark bonds.

The rand, with bonds following suit, had weakened steadily for four straight sessions and then took a breather as the dollar consolidated gains.

Dealers said trade was already thinning before the long Easter weekend and with the local data calendar empty, investors were unlikely to go into the market with much conviction.

“Pressure on the local bond and interest rate derivative markets has eased heading into the Easter break, with dollar/rand having found a narrow resting range between 10.49 and 10.62,” said Thando Vokwana of Rand Merchant Bank in a market note, adding that activity should remain muted in the session.

Yields on government bonds nudged up 1.5 basis points to 8.46 percent on the 2026 issue and to 6.78 percent on the 2015 note.

The Treasury will hold its weekly Friday auction of Treasury Bills in the session while there will be no sale of inflation-linked bonds, usually also held weekly on a Friday.

Results of the Treasury Bill sale are due at 12:00 SA time. - Reuters