South Africa's rand steady, focus on U.S. jobs data


South Africa’s rand steadied against the dollar early on Friday, holding on to its strongest levels in four months, but traders were cautious ahead of a U.S. jobs report that will help investors gauge the strength of the world’s biggest economy.

At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 14.7430 per dollar, 0.16 percent firmer from Thursday’s New York close of 14.7670.

The currency rallied to its firmest level since Dec. 9 on Thursday after the country’s top court ordered President Jacob Zuma to repay the state for some upgrades to his private home.


“The recent closes in the rand have been technically supportive of the local currency,” Nedbank analysts said in a note.

“However, somewhat excessive euphoria around the local constitutional court ruling and generally improved sentiment prevailing will see markets likely to be somewhat cautious ahead of the plethora of U.S data this afternoon.”

Stocks were set to open lower at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index down nearly 1 percent.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 added 2 basis points to 9.135 percent.