Johannesburg - South Africa's rand was little changed and seen in a fairly tight range on Tuesday as a nationwide strike by the country's biggest union gets under way, the latest blow to an economy that contracted in the first quarter.

At 08:50 SA time, the rand was fetching 10.6370 to the dollar compared to its New York close of 10.6390 to the dollar.

On the domestic front there has been plenty of sour news to keep the rand under pressure, including a five-month strike in the platinum sector that ended last week and which helped push the economy into contraction in the first quarter.

But the often volatile rand has been taking the Numsa strike in its stride.

“Rand volatility is on strike,” RMB said in a note on Tuesday.

“There has been some talk that the rand is struggling because of the Numsa strike... Rand moves, though, have been broadly in line with other high-risk currencies: if there is any underperformance, it is marginal,” it said.

“The better way of describing the rand is just to say that it has been caught up in the global market stupor. Volatility everywhere has dropped to record lows and, while it took its time about it, the rand has been caught up in the same apathy.”

Government bonds were also little changed, with yields unmoved on the 2026 benchmark and for instrument due next year, which fetched 8.335 percent and 6.715 percent respectively. - Reuters