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Rand slightly firmer in early trade

The South African rand was slightly firmer in early trade on Friday, tracking a weaker dollar on global markets.

At 0620 GMT, the rand traded at R19.04 against the dollar.

Rand Merchant Bank analysts said local markets were “almost a passenger at the moment,” with global factors holding sway.

“The rand is following its seasonal trajectory, with August statistically a bad month for rand bulls. The currency is on track to maintain the general trend of weakness in August, with 17 out of the last 23 years since 2000 seeing the local unit weaken during the height of the European summer,” they said in a research note.

The rand is down about 0.4% against the dollar this week and roughly 6% this month.

Later on Friday South Africa holds its weekly inflation-linked bond auction.

The benchmark 2030 government bond was little changed in early deals, the yield down 1 basis point to 10.410%.

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