Rand edges higher; eyes on Zuma’s fate

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand edged higher early on Wednesday as the dollar fell, with market attention pinned on President Jacob Zuma’s future as head of state.

At 0647 GMT, the rand traded at 11.9200 versus the dollar, 0.3 percent stronger on the day. The U.S. currency was weaker in global markets. [FRX/]

South African news website News24 reported late on Tuesday that top officials from the ruling African National Congress would meet Zuma to discuss “options” to avoid him being impeached or voted out by parliament.

The ANC has been discussing whether to tell Zuma, whose presidency has been marred by corruption scandals, to resign. Any sign that Zuma could go before his second term ends next year has tended to boost South African assets, including the rand.

Markets were also eyeing trade data due to be released around 1200 GMT.

Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.4 percent.

Mobile operator Vodacom Group reported a 6.7 percent rise in its third-quarter group revenue early on Wednesday.

Government bonds were slightly stronger in early deals, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 instrument down 2 basis points to 8.54 percent.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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