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SA Business
Apr 2 2012 9:11AM
 
Rand firms, bonds muted
On the bourse, stocks looked set for a stronger start, with the June futures contract of the JSE's blue-chip Top-40 index up 0.32% before the 0700 GMT start of trade. Picture: Gallo Images
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South Africa's rand firmed slightly along with other commodity currencies against the dollar on Monday, as positive Chinese factory data put an ease to fears of a hard landing for world's second-biggest economy.

The rand was trading at 7.6403 to the dollar at 0613 GMT, 0.18% firmer than Friday's close of 7.657.

Purchasing Managers' Index data released in several countries around the world later on Monday will likely shed more light on the performance of the global economy.

South Africa's March Kagiso Securities PMI is due for release at 0900 GMT. Last month it jumped to a two-year high of 57.9 in February from 53.2 in January due to robust seasonally adjusted business activity and new sales orders indices.

"The rand is a tad stronger, the numbers in China is probably to some extent encouraging for emerging markets," said Ion de Vleeschauwer, a trader at Bidvest Bank.

China's official PMI jumped to an 11-month high as a stream of new orders lifted activity, easing fears for a hard landing.

"There is probably going to be a rally in emerging markets, stock markets are looking pretty decent in the far east this morning, probably a positive start to the rand," said De Vleeschauwer.

The repo rate has been left unchanged at its historical low of 5.5% since November 2010 to stimulate a sluggish economic recovery.

Yields on the benchmark government bonds were little moved, slipping half a basis points to 6.695% for the 2015 bond and to 8.375% for that on the 2026 note .

On the bourse, stocks looked set for a stronger start, with the June futures contract of the JSE's blue-chip Top-40 index up 0.32% before the 0700 GMT start of trade. -Reuters

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