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South African rand firms as dollar slips on US jobs data

Published 04/02/2024, 02:24 AM
Updated 04/02/2024, 12:06 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks walk past the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, South Africa,  November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -The South African rand strengthened on Tuesday after the dollar slipped on a new report that showed U.S. job openings held steady at higher levels.

At 1533 GMT, the rand traded at 18.8125 against the dollar, about 0.7% firmer than its previous closing level.

The dollar index was down 0.2% after the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said job openings, a measure of labour demand, edged up 8,000 to 8.756 million on the last day of February.

The rand seemed unperturbed by disappointing data at home after a purchasing managers' index (PMI) survey showed monthly South African manufacturing activity declined and vehicle sales fell 11.7% year-on-year in March.

The rand like most emerging market currencies, takes cues from global factors like the direction of the dollar, in addition to local economic indicators.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks walk past the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, South Africa,  November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange fell, with the blue-chip Top-40 index closing 0.1% lower.

South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was weaker, with the yield up 1.5 basis points to 10.630%.

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