South Africa's rand recovers from sharp fall, boost from China

Reuters
New South African bank notes featuring an image of former South African President Nelson Mandela are displayed at an office in Johannesburg
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South African bank notes featuring an image of former South African President Nelson Mandela are displayed …

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's rand was firmer against the dollar early on Monday, after heavy losses on Friday, with a strong factory survey from China lifting commodity currencies that rely on exports to that country.

However the rand was still down 3 percent from four-month highs reached last Wednesday amid what proved to be temporary relief that U.S. Federal Reserve will not start cutting its monthly bond purchases as early as feared.

The programme has injected billions of dollars into high-yielding emerging markets like South Africa.

By 0643 GMT the rand, which slid 2 percent on Friday alone, was up 0.53 percent at 9.8400 against the dollar compared with its previous close.

"The rand has been oversold. Not only has it been the worst performer in the emerging market world, but it is also now weaker than where it was pre-Fed," said Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns in a market note.

"Rand gains will be assisted by this morning's good Chinese data," he said, adding liquidity would be constrained during the session, ahead of Tuesday's public and market holiday in South Africa.

On the debt market, government bonds pulled back from Friday's levels, with the yield on the 2026 benchmark inversely adding 2 basis points to 7.915 percent while the shorter-dated 2015 paper was up 1.5 basis points to 5.95 percent.

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