January 23, 2018 / 6:46 AM / a year ago

South African rand pulls back from 2 1/2-year high

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 23 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand eased in early trade on Tuesday, relinquishing gains notched up in the previous session on news that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) was deciding whether to cut short President Jacob Zuma’s tenure as head of state.

* At 0629 GMT, the rand traded at 12.0950 per dollar, 0.35 percent lower than its New York close on Monday.

* The currency strengthened in the previous session driven by the ruling ANC saying it discussed removing Zuma as head of state but no decision or date for his departure was agreed.

* NKC African Economics says in its morning note that the rand is expected to trade in the range of 12.00 to 12.25 for the day, after it eased off its highs against the dollar during European trade on Monday.

* Government bonds weakened alongside the currency, with the yield for the benchmark instrument rising 2.5 basis points to 8.380 percent. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)

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