Johannesburg - South Africa's rand strengthened by over half a percent on against the dollar Friday, rebounding after a rough week as geopolitical tensions in Russia intensified, making emerging markets elsewhere look more attractive.

The local unit moved 0.69 percent stronger to 10.610 per dollar by 17:16 SA time, bouncing up after closing on a month-low of 10.7650 in New York.

“The rand has been a slight outperformer, a function of it suffering the most on Thursday,” said Christopher Shiells, an emerging market analyst for Informa Global Markets.

“The Russia de-escalation non-story sparked further gains this afternoon.”

NATO called for Russia to “step back from the brink” of war in Ukraine, while the Ukraine government has threatened sanctions on Russian citizens living in the country.

South Africa, as well as other emerging markets stand to benefit form capital in-flows fleeing instability in Eastern Europe.

Government bonds were weak, with yields on both benchmark papers climbing by 5.5 basis points, to 6.705 percent on the paper due in 2015 and 8.315 percent on paper maturing in 2026. - Reuters