South African rand steadies as ANC votes for new leader

PUBLISHED: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 10:04:29 GMT

South Africa’s rand steadied early on Monday, giving up earlier gains as the ruling African National Congress voted to elect a new leader to succeed President Jacob Zuma as party head.

ANC delegates began casting their ballots in the early hours of Monday, to select between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former chair of the Commission of the African Union Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as new party leader.

At 0645 GMT, the rand was traded at 13.0900 per dollar, unchanged from its New York close on Friday.

The currency had raced to a 3-1/2-month high of 12.7300 earlier on hopes Ramaphosa, who is favoured by markets, would win the race.

“At this time the market still awaits the outcome of the voting process, price action earlier in the session suggesting that the markets although optimistic, of a market friendly outcome, remain cautious and liquidity will be tested throughout the session, in both directions,” Nedbank analysts wrote in a note.

Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.49 percent.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was down 5 basis points at 9.025 percent, reflecting firmer bond prices.

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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