South Africa’s rand steady near 14-month peak

PUBLISHED: Thu, 15 Apr 2021 07:05:19 GMT

JOHANNESBURG, April 15 (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand was steady early on Thursday, remaining near the 14 month high it touched in the previous session as risk appetite globally and positive local retail sales data boosted demand for the currency.

At 0645 GMT the rand was 0.03% weaker at 14.3950 per dollar, barely moved from its overnight close of 14.3900.

The U.S. dollar sank to a new four-week low versus major peers as Treasury yields retreated from last month’s surge, with investors increasingly convinced by the Federal Reserve’s arguments that interest rates will stay low for some time.

Locally, retail sales rose for the first time in 11 months in February, defying forecasts of another downturn as purchases of furniture, household appliances and food and beverages sectors jumped.

That set the stage for the rand’s rally to its firmest since January 2020, with bulls now eyeing 14.20 mark before the closes, a level traders say will could unlock further gains.

Bonds were firmer, with the yield on the benchmark 2030 government issue down 2 basis points to 9.19%. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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