South Africa’s rand firms as trade deal hopes rise, what you need to know…

PUBLISHED: Fri, 15 Mar 2019 15:38:08 GMT

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand firmed early on Friday, reversing some of its losses from the previous session with demand for emerging market currencies boosted by new signs of a trade deal between China and the United States.

At 0730 GMT the rand was 0.41 percent firmer at 14.4800 per dollar compared to a close of 14.5400 overnight in New York.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by telephone with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the two sides made further substantive progress on trade talks, Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

Bonds also gained with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 down 3.5 basis points to 8.725 percent.

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Stocks opened firmer, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index up 0.35 percent to 49,712 points.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana