Johannesburg - South Africa's rand was largely steady against the dollar early on Friday, with scope for losses later if jobs data out of the US points to a recovery in the world's largest economy.

This would back the case for further scaling back of the Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus, which has been a key source of investor flows into high yielding emerging markets.

By 08:50 SA time the rand was trading at 10.652 versus the dollar, barely changed from Thursday's close at 10.650.

Government bonds were similarly flat, with the yield on debt maturing in 2026 trading at the previous day's closing level of 8.52 percent while that for the paper due in 2015 inched up one basis point to 6.8 percent.

Market watchers anticipated cautious trading ahead of the US jobs numbers.

“The real action will come this afternoon,” Barclays Africa said in a market note.

“The equation is simple, if the US economy created more than 200,000 jobs in March then US yields will rise and the rand will weaken - and vice versa.” - Reuters