South African rand edges lower after comments by Fed’s Powell

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -The South African rand edged lower on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell did not give a clear indication on whether the U.S. central bank would cut interest rates soon.

At 1512 GMT, the rand traded at 18.1350 against the dollar, down 0.1% from its previous close.

Investors were looking at Powell’s testimony in Washington on Tuesday for hints on the future interest rate path in the world’s biggest economy.

U.S. inflation “remains above” the Fed’s 2% target, but has been improving in recent months and “more good data would strengthen” the case for central bank interest rate cuts, Powell said.

The dollar index was last trading up 0.19% against a basket of currencies.

The risk-sensitive rand often takes cues from global drivers like U.S. economic policy in the absence of major local factors.

On the stock market, the Top-40 index closed down 0.2%.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was weaker, with the yield up 5.5 basis point at 9.805%.

(Reporting by Tannur Anders and Bhargav AcharyaEditing by Christina Fincher and Angus MacSwan)


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