JOHANNESBURG - The rand strengthened in early trade with markets anticipating a Jacob Zuma resignation later on in the day. The local unit was bid at R11.86 against the US dollar at 10am-the rand was bid at R11.98 against the greenback yesterday. Local politics have driven the rand’s movement this week, with Zuma’s future dominating market sentiment.

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule yesterday confirmed that President Zuma was asked to step down as head of state during a special meeting of ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) on Monday evening. Magashule also said Zuma will likely brief the nation later today, in order to respond to the NEC’s decision.

Looking at the stock market, the all share index was on the front foot in the early trading session, 0.23% stronger at 57,340 at 10am. The blue-chip top 40 index 101 points in early trade.