In South Africa Rand steadies as traders await crucial data

Stocks were due to open slightly firmer when trade commences at 0700 GMT, with the Top-40 futures index up 0.3 percent.

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South African rands note in a file photo. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko play South African rands note in a file photo. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
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South Africa's rand was steady on Tuesday, recouping the previous session's losses against the dollar as investors held off any major moves ahead of trade data locally and a raft of crucial offshore data later in the week.

Stocks were due to open slightly firmer when trade commences at 0700 GMT, with the Top-40 futures index up 0.3 percent.

Government bonds inched firmer in early trade, with the yield on the benchmark issue due in 2026 down 2 basis points to 9.46 percent.

At 0645 GMT the rand had firmed 0.1 percent to 15.7900 per dollar, backtracking slightly after rallying to a session best of 15.7300 overnight.

South Africa's revenue service publishes trade balance figures for April at 1200 GMT, with new vehicle sales and PMI data later in the week before Standard & Poor's announces it rating review on Friday.

"Today we get the S.A. trade balance, always one to throw a bit of volatility into the equation given its propensity to be completely at odds with expectations," chief trader at Standard Bank Warrick Butler said in a note.

Traders also said the rand was likely to remain in a narrow range as investors awaited more clues about the timing of an interest rate hike in the United States and a looming downgrade to South Africa's rating at the end of the week.

The U.S. publishes PMI and consumer confidence figures on Wednesday before releasing employment data on Friday.

"The market will be anxiously awaiting that number to see if the Fed (Federal Reserve) has the ammunition to pull the trigger on the June shotgun," said Butler.

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