South African rand recovers against dollar ahead of Powell’s speech

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South Africa’s rand recovered against the dollar on Wednesday, as focus in the absence of local economic data shifted towards a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for clues on the timing of potential interest rate cuts.

At 1541 GMT, the rand traded at 18.68 against the dollar, 0.5% stronger than its previous close, reversing some of the losses it incurred in the earlier session.

The dollar index was last down 0.44% against a basket of currencies.

Investors will be closely watching Powell’s speech later on Wednesday for clues on his stance on the interest rate landscape.

South African investors will turn their attention on Thursday towards S&P Global, which will release its whole-economy purchasing managers’ index survey for Marcg, shedding light on business conditions in Africa’s most industrialised economy.

On the stock market, the Top-40 and the broader all-share indices both closed over 0.4% lower.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was stronger, with the yield down 9.5 basis points to 10.535%.

(Reporting by Bhargav AcharyaEditing by Ros Russell and Angus MacSwan)


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