South Africa's rand firmer ahead of third-quarter GDP data

Pontsho Mabena                       Cyril Ramaphosa

Pontsho Mabena Cyril Ramaphosa

The rally stalled on Wednesday but volatility in the currency is expected to return next week‚ ahead of the ANC's national elective conference.

TreasuryOne dealer Andre Botha said that‚ with the rand failing to strengthen‚ it could be assumed that the momentum of notable rand strength had broken.

Foreign investors sold R1.32bn of local bonds on Wednesday with trading volumes and liquidity at thin levels, Nedbank analysts said.

Global market focus is now on the United States nonfarm payroll data due on Friday. The data will shed light on whether the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates in December.

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United States legislators are making progress with the tax legislation bill‚ which has provided support for the dollar.

Naspers came under pressure after weakness in Chinese internet company Tencent and extended losses to close down 3 percent at 3,520 rand after a US law firm launched an inquiry on behalf of shareholders into whether it engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful businesses practices.

In the space of seven minutes, traders had to digest data showing the economy grew a better-than-forecast 2% quarter-on-quarter between July and September, an nearly 10% jump in the trade surplus in the period to R71bn and a R3.3bn domestic bond auction at which investors bid for more than double the amount of debt offered.

U.S. 10-year treasuries were bid at 2.3367% from 2.3518%.

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