Rand flat as dollar holds near peak; stocks rise

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The rand was flat in early trade on Wednesday, as the dollar held near a two-decade peak hit on Monday after the Federal Reserve indicated that US interest rates would stay higher for longer.

At 0738 GMT, the rand traded at R16.99 against the dollar, 0.01% weaker than its previous close.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was up 0.046% at 108.8, just below a two-decade peak of 109.48 made on Monday.

“The USD-ZAR appears to be caught in a tunnel between R16.75 and R17.00, with any sustained breaks out of this range holding the potential to kickstart a new trend,” economists at ETM Analytics said in a note.

On the stock market, the Top 40 and the broader all-share indexes rose around 1%.

Investors in South Africa will be looking at July trade balance figures due at 1200 GMT for clues on the health of the local economy.

The government’s benchmark 2030 bond was weaker in early deals, with the yield up 1.5 basis points to 10.345%.

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