September 13, 2017 / 7:00 AM / 11 days ago

South Africa's rand firms before retail sales data

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 13 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand firmed early on Wednesday, supported by a steady gold price after U.S. President Donald Trump said tougher measures were needed against North Korea.

* At 0630 GMT the rand gained 0.2 percent to 12.9800, a day after sinking to its softest in a week as traders upped bets on further falls.

* The currency remains vulnerable to technical selling, traders said, with repeated breaches of the 13.00 mark against the dollar spurring sellers ahead of an expected interest rate cut next week.

* Statistics South Africa publishes July retail sales at 1100 GMT.

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

* In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government due in 2026 fell 1.5 basis points to 8.44 percent (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; editing by John Stonestreet)

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