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In South Africa Rand backtracks as investors cash in on rally

Rand at 14.3200 at 0645 GMT, 0.63 percent softer than New York close. The unit gained more than 2 percent on Thursday in global risk-on rally.

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A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo play A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

South Africa's rand retreated from 2-1/2-month highs on Friday as a recent rally lost steam with some investors booking profits and paring bets ahead of inflation data in the United States.

* Rand at 14.3200 at 0645 GMT, 0.63 percent softer than New York close. The unit gained more than 2 percent on Thursday in global risk-on rally.

* Rand could resume gains with risk appetite boosted by firm GDP print from China. Low rate environment in developed world also supporting high-yielding emerging market assets.

* Markets eyeing U.S. inflation, retail and manufacturing data for clues on timing of interest rate hikes.

* Stocks due to open slightly lower at 0700 GMT, futures index down 0.24 percent.

* Government bonds check rally, yields up 2.5 basis points to 8.7 percent.

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