In South Africa Rand flat, stocks open a touch firmer

By 0700 GMT the rand traded at 15.540 against the dollar, just 0.06 percent firmer than Monday's New York close.

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South African rand notes in a file photo. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko play South African rand notes in a file photo. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
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South Africa's rand was flat against the dollar on Tuesday, with traders and analysts expecting sideways trade as the market slowly gets back to full steam after the year-end break.

Stocks opened a touch firmer, with the JSE securities exchange's Top-40 index adding 0.45 percent.

By 0700 GMT the rand traded at 15.540 against the dollar, just 0.06 percent firmer than Monday's New York close.

Government bonds were slightly firmer with the benchmark 2026 instrument yielding 2 basis points lower at 9.705 percent.

The rand weakened about 25 percent versus the dollar in 2015 on concerns about weak local growth and as expectations of higher U.S. interest rates dented appetite for emerging markets.

"Given the tough end to the year ... it is to be expected that trades will not try and get too involved just yet and are possibly hoping for some sort of decent liquidity to drift back into the market," Standard Bank trader Warrick Butler said.

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