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South African rand rises further after Ramaphosa sworn in as president


JOHANNESBURG   –    South Africa’s rand extended recent gains early on Friday, a day after Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as the country’s president, raising hopes of an end to the corruption scandals and economic decline seen during Jacob Zuma’s nine years in power.

* At 0612 GMT, the rand traded at 11.5800 versus the dollar, 0.26 percent stronger than its New York close on Thursday.

* Analysts at NKC Research said they expected the rand to trade in a range of 11.50/$ – R11.75/$ on Friday.

* Ramaphosa became South Africa’s head of state on Thursday after Zuma resigned under pressure from Ramaphosa’s allies in the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC).

* A former union leader, Ramaphosa has promised to fight corruption and woo foreign investors. He will deliver a closely watched speech, the state of the nation address on Friday.

* South African markets rallied strongly on Thursday, with stocks rising as much as 5 percent and the rand firming to its firmest since early 2015. Analysts use the phrase “Ramaphosa rally” to refer to the buoyant market mood since Ramaphosa was elected ANC leader in December. [ZAR/]

* Government bonds were also stronger on Friday, with the yield on the benchmark instrument due in 2026 down 6.5 basis points to 8.165 percent.(Reuters)

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