Photo illustration of South African bank notes displayed next to the American dollar notes in Johannesburg

South Africa's rand little changed, eyes on retail sales data

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's rand was little changed against the dollar in early trade on Wednesday amid uncertainty over Brexit and as market participants awaited the release of local retail sales data for clues on the health of the domestic economy.

* At 0643 GMT, the rand traded at 13.7250 per dollar, notfar off its New York close of 13.7425 on Tuesday. * "In terms of the day ahead, risk sentiment is likely tosour and weigh on EM currencies and equity stocks, as marketparticipants digest the uncertainty around Brexit," RMB analystMpho Tsebe said in a note. "In terms of data, we look toNovember's retail sales data for a clearer picture on how theeconomy fared in the fourth quarter." * British lawmakers defeated Prime Minister Theresa May'sBrexit divorce deal by a crushing margin, the worstparliamentary defeat for a government in recent British history. * Statistics South Africa will publish November retail salesdata at 1100 GMT. * The rand fell on Tuesday after worse-than-expected miningdata pointed to lingering weakness in Africa's mostindustrialised economy. * In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark governmentbond due in 2026 dipped 2 basis points to 8.785 percent in earlytrade.
(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

2019-01-16 09:35:10

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