Rand steadies ahead of U.S. jobs report
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JOHANNESBURG - The South African rand steadied in early trade on Thursday, with investors' focus on a key U.S. jobs report which may provide clues on when the Federal Reserve will dial back monetary stimulus.
At 0625 GMT, the rand traded flat at 14.3600 against the dollar, holding to gains made in late afternoon trade on Wednesday.
"Most emerging markets currencies are trading sideways at the moment as markets lack any clear direction and the dollar remains range-bound against the majors ahead of tomorrow's Non-farm payrolls report," said TreasuryONE currency strategist from Andre Cilliers.
The potential for higher U.S. interest rates has weighed on riskier but high-yielding assets like the rand this week.
Investor attention is also on a scheduled review of South Africa's sovereign credit by Moody's on Friday. The rating agency already assigns a "junk" status to the country, but with a negative outlook there is the potential for a further downgrade.
Government bonds firmed in early deals, and the yield on the instrument due in 2030 slipped 3 basis points to 9.090%.