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JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s rand was softer early on Wednesday after weaker-than-expected first quarter GDP figures in the previous session, while sluggish emerging markets also weighed on the currency.

At 07:02 the rand was 12.7750 to the dollar, a slight recovery from the previous session’s highs of 12.8300.

South Africa’s economy shrank by 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2018, Statistics South Africa said.

The most significant contributors were in the agricultural, manufacturing and mining sectors which recorded the lowest output.

“Emerging markets were generally weak yesterday so the GDP figures are not the full story. We are expecting a pull back to the 12.50 area in the next couple of days. If the pull back in the Euro gets postponed, the rand pull back gets delayed,” Mehut Daya, technical analyst at Nedbank.

The benchmark government bond was down by 1.5 basis points to 8.635 percent.

The all share stock index opened 0.6 percent higher at 58,140 points. 

-REUTERS