South Africa's rand stretched gains early on Thursday as the dollar retreated following a holiday in the United States that kept in check the greenback's recent bull run, allowing emerging assets to consolidate.
Stocks looked set to open flat with the equity futures on the blue-chip Top-40 index, considered a precursor of the actual index, only inching up 0.06 percent.
At 0645 GMT the rand edged 0.06 percent firmer to 14.1515, just a touch off its firmest level since last Friday.
Government bonds were mostly firmer, cheered by the pause in dollar strength, with the benchmark paper due in 2026 shedding 0.5 basis points to 8.545 percent.
"Risk assets are the winners this morning, as we see dollar strength retreating against a basket of EM currencies," analysts at Nedbank said in a research note.
The imminent rate hike in the U.S. remained a risk and was likely to restrict the rand from pushing past the 14.00 technical barrier, traders said.
"Despite any short-term corrections, the weak trend in both the rand and other EM currencies is likely to persist as dollar strength dominates in the coming months," analysts at Nedbank said.
South Africa's statistics agency publishes gold and mining production figures for September at 0930 GMT.