Production data lifts rand to week high
Fin24/ Reuters - Dec 11th, 09:25
Johannesburg - The rand gained to its strongest in nearly a week on Tuesday after upbeat mining and manufacturing data improved economic growth prospects.
Mining data showed production surged 22% year-on-year in October, from 0.6% the previous month. Manufacturing rose 1.5% from a 3.3% contraction, and against market expectations for a further fall in October.
The data took the rand to R10.2725/$, breaking through resistance and gaining over 1%.
"On these two numbers the SARB can continue to focus on inflation when making policy decisions, and thus a rate hike would still seem more likely over the next year than a further cut," said Christopher Shiells of Informa Global Markets after the data.
The central bank has kept interest rates on hold at 5% all year as it tries to juggle a weak economy with rising prices.
By 15:18 GMT, the rand was up half a percent on the dollar to R10.3395/$, off a R10.3935/$ close in New York on Monday.
South Africa's currency was the biggest gainer in a basket of emerging market currencies trading against the dollar and tracked by Reuters on Tuesday.
The production data improves South Africa's GDP outlook for the year as manufacturing accounts for about 15% of economic activity.
Yields on government bonds ended steady at 8.275% on the benchmark 2026 issue and dropped one basis point to 6.18% on the 2015 note.
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