South Africa’s rand firms, stocks set to open lower

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South African Rand coins are seen in this photo illustration

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand extended gains against the dollar early on Friday as it recovers from a six-week low hit at the start of the week, helped by renewed investor appetite for riskier but high-yielding assets.

At 0638 GMT, the rand traded at 13.4200 per dollar, 0.43 percent firmer than its overnight close.

The currency had hit a two-week high of 13.4050/dollar in the previous session, its strongest level since Sept. 27.

“The trade down to very close to 13.4000 last night effectively completed the technical recovery formation,” Nedbank analysts wrote in a note.

Friday’s market focus was likely to be on U.S data, with the next major local event on the horizon being the medium-term budget policy statement later this month, they added.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will make his first budget speech to parliament on Oct. 25.

Stocks were set to open slightly lower at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index down 0.13 percent.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond was down 1.5 basis points to 8.66 percent.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; editing by John Stonestreet)

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