JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The South African rand extended its gains against the dollar in early trade on Friday and government bonds firmed as investors moved back into riskier assets, ahead of the closely watched U.S. jobs report.

At 0630 GMT, the rand traded at 14.3050 per dollar, 0.66 percent stronger than its close on Thursday, when it firmed more than 2 percent.

“The dollar has endured a significant correction over the course of the most recent sessions. The rand, after having traded to a high of 14.8525 on Wednesday, is trading sub-14.40 this morning. This is significant, as the 14.50 technical level has held firm so far,” Nedbank analysts said in a note.

“Key now would be price action after the U.S. data release this afternoon,” the note added.

Investors are waiting for U.S. employment data on Friday which could reinforce the view that the U.S. economy is outperforming rivals, driving investors back to the dollar.

The yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 dropped 11.5 basis points to 9.17 percent.

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Sunil Nair