South Africa’s rand firmer ahead of third-quarter GDP data

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JOHANNESBURG   –   The South African rand edged up on Tuesday ahead of third-quarter growth data, holding on to gains made in the previous session on investor hopes of a reform-friendly outcome at the ruling African National Congress (ANC) leadership conference.

At 0645 GMT the rand was 0.09 percent firmer at 13.5100 per dollar compared to a close of 13.5225 overnight in New York.

The greenback stalled in cautious trade as investors waited to see how the next step of the U.S. tax reform legislation proceeds.

Gold, a chief export for South Africa, was up 0.3 percent in early trade.

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The race to succeed President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader looks tipped in current Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s favour, with voting data on Monday showing him ahead of main rival Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

A Reuters poll expects third-quarter GDP growth to come in 1.5 percent q/q from 2.5 percent in the previous quarter.

Government bonds were firmer in early trade, with the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 down 5 basis points to 9.185 percent.

Stocks were set to open lower at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s benchmark Top-40 futures index down 0.7 percent.

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