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South Africa’s rand firm in quiet trade, stocks inch higher

South Africa's rand firm in quiet trade, stocks inch higherJOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s rand hardly moved against the greenback in early quiet trade on Tuesday as investors awaited for clear leads and data releases for direction, while stocks opened a touch higher.

At 0705 GMT the rand had edged up 0.3 percent to 13.7405 per dollar, a level last seen on Oct.28, according to Reuters data.

“Currency markets are moving sideways, completely uninspired by the global macro backdrop,” Rand Merchant Bank currency strategist John Cairns. “With no major direction from global markets and a complete lack of data risks, there are no huge risks on the rand today.”

Although risky assets may get a slight boost from the equity market, the week is still packed with data and event risks which are squeezed towards the end of the week.

Stocks opened slightly higher with MTN Group, which is battling to reduce a hefty $ 5.2 billion fine in Nigeria, rebounding 0.3 percent after the telecoms firm said the Nigerian authorities have renewed its operating license.

The JSE Top-40 index added 0.33 percent to 48,497 and the broader All-share index was up 0.26 percent at 53,998.

After a light day on Monday, the fixed income market is expected to take its cue from the relative strength of Tuesday’s weekly government auction. Government bonds were mixed, with the benchmark paper due in 2026 unchanged at 8.345 percent.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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