Johannesburg - South Africa's rand held steady against the dollar on Monday and looked set to trade firmer versus the US currency after closing with a bullish tone last week.

The rand snapped a four-day losing streak against the dollar on Friday, after jobs data from the world's biggest economy supported a dovish stance from the US Federal Reserve.

“Dollar/rand ended Friday's session below 10.68, which we mentioned would dent the underlying bullish trend in place over the last week of July,” Anisha Arora, emerging market analyst at 4Cast said.

At 08:40 SA time, the rand traded at 10.6700 to the dollar, just a touch firmer than its close on Friday.

Analysts said with the main data out of the world's biggest economy out of the way, focus was likely to return to geopolitical tensions in Russia, but the rand should be resilient.

“The end of the numerous strikes and wage disputes, as well as recent (rate) hike action from the South African Reserve Bank may offer the rand some insulation from the external geopolitical tensions and pressures between the West and Russia,” 4Cast's Arora said.

Government bonds were slightly firmer, with yields down 1.5 basis points to 6.675 percent on the 2015 note and falling half a basis point to 8.325 percent on the 2026 issue.

Dealers said they expected sideways trading in the debt market until Tuesday's weekly government auction.

HSBC publishes PMI data on Tuesday, two days before the release of foreign reserves, business confidence and manufacturing numbers.

The confidence and output data is expected to reinforce the weak economic outlook for Africa's most advanced economy. - Reuters