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Rand hits four month high against dollar as oil steadies

At 0735 GMT, the rand traded at 14.3980 versus the dollar, 0.5 percent stronger from Monday's New York close.

South African bank notes featuring images of former South African President Nelson Mandela (R) are displayed next to the American dollar notes in this photo illustration in Johannesburg August 13 2014.  REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa's rand firmed to a four month high against the dollar on Tuesday, tracking a recovery in commodity currencies in the face of stabilising oil prices.

At 0735 GMT, the rand traded at 14.3980 versus the dollar, 0.5 percent stronger from Monday's New York close. The rand touched a session high of 14.3700, the firmest it has been since Dec. 7, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"It's emerging markets plus commodity currencies that are doing very well and that is on the back of some good news ... oil has made the commodity currencies bounce a lot," Treasury One chief dealer Wichard Cilliers.

Currencies such as the rand, which are affected by commodity prices came under pressure on Monday after major oil producers failed to agree on an output freeze, but recovered on Tuesday due to a Kuwaiti oil strike that has led to a cut in production.

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The rand's gains mirrored those of the Australian dollar which reached an eleven month high against the greenback.

The rand is close to testing a new level of technical resistance at 14.25/30 against the dollar and re-testing the top line of the 5-year channel it broke out of in April last year, analysts said.

Government bonds also strengthened, with the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 falling 4.5 basis points to 8.925 percent.

On the bourse, the Top-40 and the broader all-share index both ticked up 0.3 percent in early trade.

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