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THE RAND barely moved in af­ter­noon deals on Fri­day, giv­ing up ear­lier gains stem­ming from dovish com­ments by the US Fed­eral Re­serve chief.

How­ever, later in the day the rand firmed to close at R13.8405 to the dol­lar.

In the ab­sence of ma­jor do­mes­tic driv­ers and with lo­cal mar­ket ac­tiv­ity thin this week, the rand has taken its cue from global driv­ers.

An­a­lysts at Ned­bank CIB said tech­ni­cal fac­tors pointed to the rand stay­ing strong, with po­ten­tial tar­get lev­els of R13.53 and 13.38 against the dol­lar on the back of healthy ap­petite for emerg­ing mar­kets (EM).

Fed­eral Re­serve (Fed) chair­man Jerome Pow­ell stressed again on Thurs­day the US cen­tral bank could be pa­tient in ap­prov­ing fur­ther in­ter­est rate in­creases, ce­ment­ing mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions the pace of mon­e­tary tight­en­ing will slow.

The rand and other EM cur­ren­cies were bat­tered in 2018 by four Fed rate hikes which boosted the dol­lar and dented ap­petite for riskier as­sets.

On the bourse, stocks gained, track­ing an up­beat tone in other emerg­ing mar­kets as hopes of a US-China trade deal lifted sen­ti­ment. The blue chip JSE Top40 in­dex was up 0.69 per­cent at 47 491.38 points and the broader all share in­dex rose 0.72 per­cent to 53 653.38 points.

In fixed in­come, the bench­mark 2026 gov­ern­ment bond also firmed. I Reuters

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