South Africa's rand recovers as dollar rally halted

South Africa's rand recovers as dollar rally halted
South African Rand coins are seen in this photo illustration
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's rand extended a rally away from six-month lows early on Wednesday, as speculation that U.S. President Donald Trump's tax overhaul plan would stall the rattled dollar.

At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 13.6450 per dollar, 0.46 percent firmer than its overnight close.

The rand was pulling further away from the six-month trough of 13.8625 reached on Monday after pressure from potentially fast-rising U.S. lending rates and risk-off mood following a visa spat between Ankara and Washington put pressure on emerging markets.

"The halt, and even partial reversal, in the dollar rally has brought much-needed relief to EM currencies," Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns said, adding the USD/ZAR pair was awaiting more direction. 

Focus in the session is on the release later in the day of minutes of the September Federal Reserve policy meeting.

"The markets focus on the Fed and what is going to happen in December (hike or not) is driving currency moves for the most part. The rand has its own domestic issues/woes to worry about as well but that becomes more important in a couple of weeks," Standard Bank chief currency trader wrote in a note.

Stocks were set to open slightly higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange's Top-40 futures index up 0.15 percent.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond was up 2.5 basis points to 8.685 percent.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; editing by John Stonestreet)

2017-10-11 09:26:47

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