Rand firmer ahead of current account data

The rand strengthened in early trade on Thursday ahead of the release of current account, mining output and industrial production data.

At 0703 GMT, the rand traded at R15.24 against the dollar, 0.34% stronger than its previous close.

The dollar index was a fraction lower at 102.53.

South Africa’s central bank will publish first-quarter current account numbers at 0900 GMT. These are expected to show a surplus of 1.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) versus a 1.9% surplus in the fourth quarter.

Statistics South Africa will publish April mining figures at 0930 GMT and April industrial production figures at 1100 GMT.

Earlier this week, data from the statistics agency showed that first-quarter GDP grew 1.9% in quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted terms and by 3.0% year-on-year unadjusted.

On the stock market, the Top-40 index was down 0.8% while the broader all-share index dropped 0.7% in early trade.

The government’s benchmark 2030 bond fell in early deals, with the yield up 1.5 basis points to 9.960%.

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