South Africa’s rand slightly weaker, stocks set to open flat

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand softened against the dollar early on Monday, but stayed below the psychological 12 rand per dollar breached last week as expectations of economic reforms boosted sentiment towards local assets.

At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 11.8900 per dollar, 0.3 percent weaker than its New York close on Friday.

Optimism over changes promised by the new leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa, helped drive the currency higher.

The rand has surged since Ramaphosa won the race to succeed Jacob Zuma as ANC leader last month, putting him in pole position to become South Africa’s next president.

Stocks were set to open flat at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index largely unchanged.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond was up 1.5 basis point at 8.44 percent.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)


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