Photo illustration of South African bank notes displayed next to the American dollar notes in Johannesburg
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's rand steadied against the dollar in early trade on Wednesday, as investors awaited a news conference by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in which he is expected to spell out more about his plans for the economy. * At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 13.7375 per dollar, notfar off its New York close of 13.7400 on Tuesday. * Over the past two months, expectations that the Trumpadministration would enact economic stimulus measures backed bymassive fiscal spending have taken the dollar index to a 14-yearhigh and weighed on emerging markets currencies. * Against that backdrop, financial markets are keen to seehow Trump will follow through on campaign pledges. * "The focus for us will be on how much emphasis he puts onhis promised fiscal boost and how much he puts on protectionism— although which is good for the rand and which is bad is notstraightforward," Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns said ina note. * Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSEsecurities exchange's Top-40 futures index up 0.31 percent. * In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark governmentbond due in 2026 was flat at 8.795 percent.
(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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