South Africa’s rand steady, political risk in focus

PUBLISHED: Mon, 07 Aug 2017 09:58:39 GMT

South Africa’s rand steadied against the dollar early on Monday, as investors readied for a parliamentary no-confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma and economic data in the coming week.

At 0648 GMT, the rand traded at 13.4000 per dollar, near its New York close of 13.4200 on Friday.

Statistics South Africa is due to released unemployment numbers at 0730 GMT, while manufacturing and mining data is due out on Thursday.

Market focus also on politics as Zuma faces a ninth attempt by the opposition to unseat him by peeling off dissidents from his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.

National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete will announce voting procedure in the no confidence motion on Monday. Zuma’s critics want the vote to be anonymous, hoping it will embolden the ANC to support his removal by shielding them from pressure from other party members.

If the motion succeeds, Zuma – in power since 2009 – and his entire cabinet would have to step down.

Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.64 percent.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was down 2 basis points at 8.635 percent.

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; editing by John Stonestreet

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